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Updates on the progress of five serious crimes working their way through the Japanese justice system:

  • On Friday, Tomohiro Iwakura was sentenced to death for the murder of five people in a house in Kagoshima Prefecture. According to the ruling, Iwakura strangled his grandma and father first, then did the same to his aunt, her sister and a neighbor when each of them came to check on his original two victims.
  • Prosecutors are set to indict Shinji Aoba on murder and other charges over the arson attack in July last year at a Kyoto Animation studio that killed 36 people, sources say. This suggests Aoba has been determined to be mentally competent and can be held criminally liable for the attack, one of Japan’s worst mass murder cases.
Tomohiro Iwakura sentenced to death for killing five people in Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture (Japanese; Dec. 11) | ANN NEWS CH
Tomohiro Iwakura sentenced to death for killing five people in Hioki, Kagoshima Prefecture (Japanese; Dec. 11) | ANN NEWS CH
  • A 29-year-old nursery teacher has admitted to breaking into a home in Tokyo to steal money and strangling Saori Tomizuka, 35, when she resisted, sources say. Police expect to also serve Yoshito Sato with an arrest warrant for murder, but for now he has been charged with abandoning the woman’s body, which was found buried in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture.
  • A Chinese couple were arrested late last month on suspicion of abandoning the body of a baby in the freezer compartment of a fridge at their home in Saitama Prefecture. The police were informed about the missing boy by local child protection authorities.
  • Tokyo police served a fresh arrest warrant on Dec. 3 for an employee of a group company of HR giant Recruit Holdings on suspicion of raping a job-hunting student. Kenshiro Maruta has already been indicted for raping an acquaintance after giving her sleeping pills. The police believe there are more victims because many pictures of apparent sexual assaults have been found on Maruta’s phone.

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