Plunge Pontificates

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Japan Courts Uphold Death Sentence

I was surprised actually, I've considered the Japan courts to be a bunch of pussies. They did the right thing today though.

Japan's top court on Tuesday upheld a death penalty on Tsutomu Miyazaki, who was convicted of abducting and murdering four girls in 1988 and 1989.

The Supreme Court confirmed the June 2001 ruling by the Tokyo High Court and rejected the defendant lawyer's argument that Miyazaki, 43, was mentally incompetent at the time of the crimes.

Miyazaki killed the four girls "to satisfy his own sexual desire and appetite to own video tapes that record corpses," said presiding Justice Tokiyasu Fujita. He said there is no room to consider commuting the death penalty on Miyazaki.

Arrested in July 1989 for a case of obscene acts, Miyazaki later admitted to abducting and killing of four girls, aged between 4 and 7, in Tokyo and nearby Saitama prefecture.

That they upheld this really did shock me, pleasantly so. Such a heinous act would not be treated nearly so severely in much of the world.

My lack of confidence in the Japanese court system comes from a series of abismal decisions. Here is an example of one in an article about a man who should be considered a hero for truth.

A funeral was held Friday for a Japanese World War II veteran who admitted to taking part in the 1937 "Rape of Nanking" in China and was among the few who spoke out publicly against the massacre.

Shiro Azuma, who died of colon cancer on Monday at age 93, admitted to taking part in the orgy of mass killings and rape in the southern Chinese city, now called Nanjing.

Azuma was one of few Japanese war veterans who publicly admitted to the Rape of Nanking, describing the massacre in a diary he published in 1987 entitled "My Nanking Platoon."

A soldier identified in the diary sued Azuma for libel in 1993 and the case went all the way to Japan's top court, which upheld lower court rulings ordering Azuma to pay damages.

The supreme court said Azuma's statement about another soldier's wartime deeds was based on opinion.
Anyway, the courts did the right thing this time!