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The Tokyo District Court sentenced a 56-year-old man to death Thursday for committing two robbery-murders, in 1996 and 1999, in Tokyo.

Yoshio Iwamoto immediately filed an appeal with the Tokyo High Court.

Presiding Judge Kiyoshi Kimura ruled out leniency, saying the crimes were cruel and the defendant was unlikely to be rehabilitated. Iwamoto committed the crimes for money after devoting himself to gambling, the judge said.

Iwamoto stabbed to death Kazuko Sakai, a 40-year-old company executive, in a robbery attempt in the elevator of a condominium in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward in June 1996. In July 1999, he murdered Kazuyoshi Iwasaki, 92, a company president and a distant relative, in Taito Ward and stole some 240,000 yen, according to the court. Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty.

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