• Kyodo


A court sentenced a man to 28 years in prison on Friday for randomly killing a woman in 2006 in a tunnel in Kawasaki.

According to the Yokohama District Court ruling, Hirokazu Suzuki, 39, killed Yuri Kuronuma, 27, as she was going home by stabbing her in the stomach and chest in a tunnel in Miyamae Ward on Sept. 23, 2006.

Presiding Judge Taro Kageyama said in handing down the ruling that Suzuki “extremely made light of human life and committed an unjustifiable murder that deserves strong condemnation.”

Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for the killer but his defense lawyers called for leniency, arguing that he has a personality disorder.

Suzuki has told investigators that he had been “abused by a woman and had a recurring impulse to stab women,” according to the sources.

Asked why a 28-year sentence was handed down, the judge said that Suzuki has begun to realize the gravity of his crime and that a life sentence is not justified.

Suzuki was convicted of attempting to kill a 40-year-old woman by stabbing her in the back in Kawasaki in April 2007 and was serving a 10-year term when he hinted at his involvement in Kuronuma’s murder in a postcard he sent to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police in January 2016.

He was subsequently served another arrest warrant in October 2017 for Kuronuma’s murder and was indicted five months later after a psychiatric examination.

On Friday, Kuronuma’s parents expressed dissatisfaction with the lighter sentence.

“The ruling is not what we hoped for. We think the accused cannot be expected to rehabilitate, given his behavior and testimonies in court,” they said in a statement released to the media.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.