OSAKA — Prosecutors demanded six years in prison for a former world boxing champion indicted last year for procuring and selling guns, one of which was allegedly used in a drug-related killing.
In the day’s trial session at the Osaka District Court, the prosecution said that 45-year-old Jiro Watanabe’s actions violated the Firearm and Sword Control Law and had an adverse impact “on Japanese society.”
“He was aware that the guns could be used for killing, and what has made things all the more grave is that someone was actually killed by one of them,” a prosecutor said.
Lawyers for the defendant acknowledged the facts in the indictment but said Watanabe sold the guns in question “on the assumption they would be used for self-defense and not for murder.”
According to the lawyers, Watanabe’s friends and supporters, such as celebrity Shinsuke Shimada, are pleading for extenuating circumstances.
Presiding Judge Takeshi Uegaki is scheduled to give a ruling on Watanabe on July 19.
Watanabe won the junior bantamweight title of the World Boxing Association in April 1982 and was the World Boxing Council’s super flyweight champion in July 1984.
The prosecution said Watanabe procured two guns — a revolver and an automatic pistol — as well as ammunition at the request of an acquaintance.
The acquiantance, company executive Toshio Katsuragi, 39. He allegedly sold the items to Katsuragi for 1.7 million yen sometime in July or August.
Katsuragi has been accused of conspiring with Yasuhiro Kurio, 36, a former official of the Osaka Municipal Government, in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in Osaka’s Fukushima Ward on Aug. 16. The revolver allegedly procured from Watanabe was used in the shooting.
Katsuragi and Kurio are currently on trial in the same court on murder charges.