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Victim’s family protests Tokyo judge’s tweet on murdered girl

Kyodo

The parents of a Tokyo high school student murdered in 2015 protested a tweet by a Tokyo High Court judge Tuesday that said she was “mercilessly murdered” by a man who has “a propensity to be sexually aroused” at the sight of a woman being strangled.

In a written petition to the high court, the parents of Kana Iwase, 17 at the time of the murder, demanded punishment for the 51-year-old judge, Kiichi Okaguchi, saying his Dec. 15 tweet from his personal account, which has since been deleted, was inconsiderate and lacking in respect for the victim.

Okaguchi posted a link to a Japanese court website page carrying the ruling given Dec. 1 by the high court on an appeal filed by Masahiro Aoki, who has been convicted of murdering Iwase in November 2015.

He was not involved in the trial, in which the high court upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced the 31-year-old Aoki to life in prison. Aoki has appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

“I felt he was making fun” of the murder, said Yumiko Iwase, the 49-year-old mother of the victim.

“I cannot believe it was an act by an incumbent judge and I cannot tolerate it,” she said.

Yoshiya Yoshizaki, director general of the Tokyo High Court’s secretariat, said the court will “carefully examine the content of the document and handle the matter appropriately after confirming related facts.”

Okaguchi was reprimanded in June last year after uploading three tweets between April 2014 and March last year, including a picture of a man — believed to be him — whose naked upper body is bound with rope. He tweeted, “I will keep posting images of my naked body and of me wearing just white briefs.”