Press "Enter" to skip to content

Ex-yakuza among 2 death-row inmates executed

TOKYO (TR) – A former organized crime member is among two death-row inmates executed on Thursday morning, bringing the total number of executions to 15 this year, the Ministry of Justice revealed on Thursday, reports NHK (Dec. 27).

According to the ministry, Keizo Okamoto, a 60-year-old former member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and Hiroya Suemori, a 67-year-old former executive at an asset management firm, were hanged at the Osaka Detention Center in Osaka City.

In January 1988, the pair abducted and killed the president and an employee of asset management firm Cosmo Research in Osaka Prefecture. They also robbed them of 100 million yen before encasing the bodies of the victims in concrete in dumping them in a mountainous area of of Kyoto Prefecture.

The Supreme Court condemned Okamoto, whose original surname is Kawamura, and Suehiro to death in 2004.

Keizo Okamoto and Hiroya Suemori
Keizo Okamoto (left) and Hiroya Suemori (Twitter)

“Brutal case”

“It was an extremely brutal case, one that selfishly robbed the victims of their precious lives,” said Takashi Yamashita, the Minister of Justice, who added that the decision to execute the inmates was made on Tuesday. “Capital punishment was the ruling finally decided upon after a sufficient trial and careful consideration.”

Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012, there have been 36 executions of inmates condemned to death. The hangings on Thursday are the first executions since July, when the ministry killed Shoko Asahara, the guru behind the Aum Shinrikyo cult, and 12 of his former followers.