OSAKA — A 25-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for the random slaying of a corporate executive in March 2000.

The Osaka District Court sentenced Shiro Takagi for the March 14, 2000, fatal stabbing of Terushi Omuchi, 58, on a street in Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture.

In handing down the sentence, presiding Judge Takeshi Uegaki said, “The crime was cruel and relentless and there are no extenuating circumstances.”

Prosecutors had demanded a 17-year prison term.

Takagi came from behind and stabbed Omuchi, a company president from Moriguchi, several times in the neck and chest, the court said.

Takagi admitted to the murder during his trial and said he acted after having empathized with the suspect in the slaying of an elementary school second-grader in Kyoto in 1999. That suspect committed suicide as he was about to be arrested for the slaying, which was also considered random.

During the trial, Takagi’s lawyers argued that he could not tell the difference between right and wrong.

But Uegaki said, “He feels guilty about having killed a person, and he was able to distinguish wrong from right.”

According to the court, Takagi had no friends and was isolated, but planned the crime after learning of the Kyoto murder and feeling he could gain sympathy and empathy from people if he committed a serious crime.

The victim’s son, Takayoshi Omuchi, 32, criticized the court by saying that it is unreasonable that Takagi was not given an indefinite prison term, because the ruling even said it is possible he may commit another crime.

“When he returns to society after serving the sentence, he will bring terror to us,” the son said.

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