• Kyodo News


A man was sentenced to death and his accomplice to life in prison Tuesday for killing a wealthy woman and her brother in a 2008 robbery-murder in the western Tokyo suburb of Akiruno.

Presiding Judge Kazunobu Yamazaki at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court handed the death penalty to Kazuo Okikura, 61, a former Akiruno city employee, and life imprisonment to Yoriaki Imaruoka, 65, operator of a civil engineering business, as demanded by prosecutors.

The three-judge panel found the two guilty of conspiring to kill Hirokazu Obuku, 51, and his sister, Yasuyo, 54, a librarian, in the early hours of April 10 last year after breaking into their home and robbing them of ¥350,000 in cash at knifepoint the previous night.

Okikura and Imaruoka dumped the corpses on a mountain in Nagano Prefecture and withdrew some ¥5.26 million from a bank account with a cash card they took from the victims, the court said.

During the trial, Okikura and Imaruoka fingered each other as the main culprit.

In their closing statement in March, the prosecutors argued that Okikura was the mastermind.

Killings in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) A Japanese couple who had immigrated to Brazil were found slain last week at their home in Guararema in the state of Sao Paulo, state police said Monday.

An acquaintance found Masaharu Ojiro, 74, from Oita Prefecture, lying dead in the kitchen, and his wife, Kiyoe, 68, from Gunma Prefecture, in the bathroom on Friday, the police said.

They said both appeared to have been fatally stabbed.

The couple’s daughter asked the acquaintance to visit the home after she was unable to contact them, the police said.

Kiyoe Ojiro’s 94-year-old mother was on the second floor of the house at the time of the incident but was unaware of any disturbance, the police said.

There was no evidence that the home was ransacked and the police are speculating that the murders stemmed from a grudge.

The Ojiro couple grew orchids.

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