A court in Fukuoka found that Satoru Nomura, 74, the head of the Kudo-kai in Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, ordered four assaults, one of which resulted in death. Nomura has denied any involvement.
Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports that Judge Ben Adachi also sentenced Nomura’s second-in-command, 65-year-old Fumio Tanoue, to life.
Nomura reportedly threatened the judge, saying, “I asked for a fair ruling but it is not fair at all. You will regret it all your life.
The court ruling said Nomura and Tanoue “conspired to carry out four attacks”. Nomura, “issued an order in the murder case and the other three crimes were committed under a chain of command structure.”
The first of four assaults took place in 1998, reports Asahi Shimbun: “A former leader of a local fishing cooperative was gunned down in the streets of Kita-Kyushu. The second happened in 2012 – a former Fukuoka Prefecture police officer was shot dead in Kita-Kyushu. The third happened in 2013 in Fukuoka, in which a nurse at a clinic where Nomura was seeking treatment was stabbed.
“The fourth was in 2014, in which a dentist, who happened to be a relative of the former head of the fishing cooperative, was stabbed in Kita-Kyushu.
Prosecutors argued that Nomura “deserved the harshest sentence because none of the victims of the four incidents had any ties to rival gangs.” They said: “Ordinary citizens have become a target in all incidents, repeatedly posing a direct threat to society.
“These incidents were unprecedented by the extremely egregious nature of the crimes committed by organized gangs. “
The defense, however, argued that Nomura “had no motivation to attack” in any of the four cases and he told the court: “I am innocent.”
Membership in the Yakuza clan is not illegal in Japan, and Yakuza-owned businesses and gang headquarters are often clearly marked.
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