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Tokyo High Court upholds life term for man convicted of killing 17-year-old girl

Kana Iwase
Kana Iwase (NHK)

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo High Court last week denied an appeal by man sentenced a man to life in prison over the murder of a teenage girl two years ago, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 1).

On Friday, the high court denied the appeal of Masahiro Aoki, who was convicted in May of killing student Kana Iwase, 17, in November, 2015. “The motivation was selfishness, and the sentence is not too heavy,” said the presiding judge.

Aoki and Iwase were co-workers at a convenience store in Katsushika Ward. On the afternoon of November 12, 2015, the defendant met up with the victim, then a third-year high school student, at JR Koiwa Station under the pretense that he had cosmetics samples to give her.

The defendant then took her back to his apartment where he strangled her to death with his hands. He also robbed her of about 7,500 yen in cash.

Two days later, Aoki notified police by telephone that he had killed a person. Officers arriving at his residence found Iwase’s unclothed body in his bathtub.

In arguing the appeal, the defense claimed that the crime was unplanned. However, the judge concluded that, similar to the initial decision handed down by the Tokyo District Court in May, it cannot be said that the crime took place without planning since the defendant scheduled to meet the victim the day before.