• Kyodo

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A 52-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for murdering an acquaintance and taking hostages.

Fumio Motohashi, a carpenter, fatally shot Naoshi Watanabe, a 35-year-old house-construction subcontractor, with a pistol Dec. 3, 2002, in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture.

He then broke into the nearby office of the Tani Kensetsu construction company and took four people hostage for nearly 33 hours before surrendering to police.

The Shizuoka District Court ruled that Motohashi committed the crime because he believed the victims had hindered his business by spreading negative rumors about him and recruiting away his workers.

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