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A five-point catch-up on cases of crime and punishment in Japan:

    • Prosecutors finally indicted Shinji Aoba on Wednesday over the arson attack in July last year on a Kyoto Animation studio that killed 36 people and injured 33 others. Aoba was charged with murder and other charges seven months after being arrested, the which point authorities decided he had recovered sufficiently from life-threatening burns sustained in the incident.
    • A man in his 20s was referred to prosecutors Thursday by Tokyo police for allegedly posting hateful messages on social media against Hana Kimura, a cast member on the reality TV show “Terrace House” who died earlier this year in an apparent suicide. The man told the police that he “wanted to get back at (Kimura) after seeing her verbally abuse a male (cast member) on the show.”
Separators are often added to benches in public spaces in Japan to prevent the homeless from lying down on them to sleep. | GETTY IMAGES
Separators are often added to benches in public spaces in Japan to prevent the homeless from lying down on them to sleep. | GETTY IMAGES
  • In the early morning hours of Nov. 16, a 46-year-old man allegedly struck a 64-year-old woman sitting in a Tokyo bus shelter in the head with a bag of rocks, killing her. On Nov. 21, the man, accompanied by his mother, turned himself in to the police. In his Media Mix column, Philip Brasor looks at coverage of the case and what it all says about attitudes toward the homeless in Japan.
  • A former boss of discount retailer Don Quijote Holdings was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of involvement in insider trading in 2018. Tokyo prosecutors suspect Koji Ohara advised an acquaintance to purchase Don Quijote shares prior to the announcement of a takeover bid for the company by FamilyMart Uny Holdings.
  • Osaka District Court ruled late last month that the now-defunct eugenics protection law, under which people with disabilities were stopped from having children, was unconstitutional, in two separate damages suits filed by a couple and a woman in western Japan. But the court rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for the state to pay a combined total of ¥55 million in damages.

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