Japan Executes 2 Inmates for 1988 Double Homicide


Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan hanged two death-row inmates on Thursday for a 1988 double homicide, with the annual number of executions reaching 15, equal to the 2008 total that was the highest since the country started releasing information on executions in 1998.

The executions of former yakuza gangster Keizo Okamoto, 60, whose former family name was Kawamura, and former investment adviser Hiroya Suemori, 67, were carried out at the Osaka Detention House, the Justice Ministry announced.

"I ordered the executions after very careful consideration," Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita told a press conference on the day, adding that he signed the execution order on Tuesday.

According to the final court ruling for the two, Okamoto and Suemori, along with a former yakuza boss, 67, who has been given an indefinite prison term, took a former president and an employee of a now-defunct investment advisory firm into an apartment in the western city of Osaka in January 1988 and robbed them of 100 million yen in cash.

They strangled the two victims, packed their bodies in concrete and buried them in a mountain in the neighboring prefecture of Kyoto.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press