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The boss of the Japanese Yakuza gang sent a chilling threat to the judge after he was sentenced to death by a Japanese court.
On Tuesday, 74-year-old Satoru Nomura was found guilty of ordering four assaults by Fukuoka District Court, and received what is believed to be the first death sentence in Japan. One of the victims of the assaults later died.
Upon receiving his sentence, Nomura threatened the rest of the court over their decision.
As per Japan Today, in a chilling threat, Nomura told the court, ‘I asked for a fair decision…. you will regret this for the rest of you life.’
The head of the Kudo-kai crime syndicate in south-west Japan denied all of the accusations against him, claiming not to have ordered the assaults.
According to Japan Today, the assaults took place between 1998 and 2014, and included the fatal shooting of the former head of a fishing cooperative. The head of the cooperative had influence over port construction projects.
Nomura was also accused of being responsible for: ordering an attack in 2014 on a relative of the murder victim; a knife attack on a nurse in 2013, who had worked at a clinic he had been receiving treatment; and the shooting of a police officer in 2012. The officer survived, however he suffered serious injuries to both his waist and legs, media reported.
In the court hearing, it was argued by prosecutors that while Nomura did not carry out the attacks himself, that he had been the mastermind behind them. Nomura received a death sentence, despite The Times reporting that the prosecutors had no proof of his direct involvement. His right-hand man, Fumio Tanoue, was also jailed for life. Other gang members had already been convicted before Nomura and Tanoue’s sentencing on Tuesday.
In Japan, multiple murders and cases involving robbery and murder, or rape and murder, are the only cases that normally resolve in a death sentence by hanging.
After the chaos of post-war Japan, the Yakuza grew into a series of multi-billion-dollar criminal organisations. Its rings involved everything from prostitution and drugs to white-collar crime and protection rackets. It has long occupied a grey area in Japanese society, due to the Yakuza not being illegal (unlike the Italian Mafia or Chinese Triads). It has subsequently been considered a ‘necessary evil’ by many. Each group within the Yakuza has even been able to maintain its own headquarters while in full view of the police.
However, in recent years, anti-gang regulations have become tighter due to lessening tolerance and a weakening economy. Yakuza memberships have subsequently fallen.
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