• Kyodo


A 22-year-old man charged with murdering two sisters and torching their dwelling pleaded guilty Monday, saying he has no plan to contest the charges by prosecutors, who claim he killed for pleasure.

Yukio Yamaji, unemployed with no fixed address, told his first trial session at the Osaka District Court, “The facts read (by prosecutors) are correct.”

According to the prosecutors, Yamaji, who in 2000 murdered his mother, broke into a condominium in Naniwa Ward, Osaka, in the early hours of Nov. 17 and fatally stabbed Asuka Uehara, 27, and Chihiro Uehara, 19.

The women were found with deep stab wounds to their chests and faces.

After killing them, Yamaji stole 5,000 yen and set the condo on fire before fleeing, the prosecutors said.

The victims did not know Yamaji.

Yamaji’s lawyers tried to seek leniency by denying part of the prosecutors’ claims, saying he had no intention of stealing money.

They also demanded a psychological analysis be conducted on him.

Before Yamaji was served an arrest warrant on the murder charge in December, he had been detained for trespassing in a building adjacent to the women’s condominium earlier the same month.

During a police investigation, Yamaji, who killed his mother in 2000 when he was a minor, told investigators he killed the sisters because he “could not forget the feelings” he experienced when he killed his 50-year-old mother.

“I wanted to see human blood,” Yamaji was quoted as saying by an investigation source.

Earlier, Yamaji told the investigators about the knife he used in the murders and they found it at a Shinto shrine a few hundred meters from the building.

Yamaji was institutionalized after beating his mother to death with a baseball bat in August 2000 in the city of Yamaguchi when he was 16.

The Yamaguchi family court had sent him to a reform center for minors after concluding the attack on his mother was not deliberately planned and “it is possible to correct” him “although he does not have a deep sense of guilt.” He was released from the reform center in October 2003.

During Monday’s court session, Yamaji did not make specific comments on his motive.

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