• Kyodo

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A Japanese man whose son was allegedly murdered by a Chinese man in Japan in 2004 made a plea in a Chinese court against sentencing the defendant to death.

In a phone interview, Yasuhiko Sato, 71, said he told a judge after the first district court trial session in Shenyang: “I will not feel better even if the defendant is given capital punishment. I don’t want the defendant’s family to feel the same way as I do,” by losing a son.

Zhou Bo, 27, who was arrested by Chinese authorities in March, had been a student in Japan when he allegedly fatally stabbed businessman Masahiko Sato, 44, at a beauty salon in the city of Fukuoka during a robbery in May 2004. He fled to China, where he was later charged. Zhou has confessed and said he is prepared for any punishment, Sato said.

Sato said about 10 members of Zhou’s family attended the trial and a woman who seemed to be his mother threw herself to the floor and apologized to Sato several times.

Sato has sent a request calling for the judge not to sentence Zhou to death.

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