• Kyodo

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Two gangsters and a former Self-Defense Forces member were handed prison terms Monday for their roles in the murder of a mob kingpin in Kawasaki in August.

The Kawasaki branch of the Yokohama District Court sentenced Ichido-kai member Makoto Kato, 37, and former Maritime Self-Defense Force member Nobuhito Furuse, 31, to 13 years for the murder of Ichido-kai leader Kazuhiro Maruyama. Another Ichido-kai member, Koji Onoue, 30, received 10 years.

The court ruled that Kato planned Maruyama’s murder because he had become fed up with the gang leader’s physical abuse of him. Furuse served as the hit man, it said, using the shooting skills he acquired while serving as an SDF member.

Maruyama was fatally shot as he returned to his condominium in Miyamae Ward in the early hours of Aug. 22, the court said.

Prosecutors had demanded 18 years in prison for Kato and Furuse and 15 years for Onoue.

Ichido-kai is affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai underworld syndicate.

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