Ex-Gang Boss on Death Row Dies in Apparent Suicide

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 26 (Jiji Press)--A former Japanese crime syndicate boss on death row who was acquitted over the murder of two people for which he confessed his involvement after his capital punishment sentence was finalized was found dead at the Tokyo detention house on Sunday, it was learned.

The death-row inmate, Osamu Yano, 71, apparently committed suicide, sources familiar with the situation said, noting that there were cuts on his neck. The Justice Ministry is investigating details of the incident.

This was the first suicide by an inmate with a finalized death sentence in Japan since a 55-year-old death-row inmate detained at a branch of Sapporo prison in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido killed himself by cutting his neck with a razor in November 1999 while he was taking a bath.

Yano's death sentence over cases including a fatal shooting at a bar in Maebashi, the capital of the eastern Japan prefecture of Gunma, in January 2003 became final in March 2014.

In letters sent to Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department in September 2014 and June 2015, Yano confessed his involvement in the killing of two people, including a company president, in 1996 and 1998.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press