court in Fukuoka Finding Satoru Nomura, 74, the head of the Kodo Kai in Kita Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, had ordered four assaults, one of which resulted in death. Nomura denied any involvement.
The Asahi Shimbun Newspapers reported that Judge Ben Adachi also sentenced Nomura’s second-in-command, Fumio Tano, 65, to life imprisonment.
Nomura reportedly threatened the judge, saying, “You asked for a fair sentence but this is not fair at all. You will regret this for the rest of your life.”
The Japanese do not plan to appeal the ruling.
The court ruling said Nomura and Tenno “conspired to carry out four attacks”. Nomura, “A warrant was issued in the murder case and the other three crimes were carried out under a chain of command structure.”
Local reports said those who carried out the attacks had already been convicted.
The first of the four attacks occurred in 1998 Asahi Shimbun Reports: “A former leader of a local fishing cooperative was shot on the streets of Kita Kyushu. The second happened in 2012 – a former Fukuoka Prefecture police officer was shot in Kita Kyushu. The third happened in 2013 in Fukuoka, where a nurse was stabbed in a clinic It was Nomura who was looking for a cure.
“And the fourth happened in 2014, when a male dentist, who happened to be a relative of a former fishing cooperative leader, was stabbed in Kita Kyushu.”
The judge described Nomura’s actions as “extremely brutal.”
Prosecutors said Nomura “deserves the most severe punishment because none of the victims in the four incidents had links to rival gangs”. They said, “Ordinary citizens became a target in all incidents, frequently posing a direct threat to society.
“These incidents are unprecedented in the extremely egregious nature of the crimes committed by organized gangs.”
But the defense argued Nomura had “no motive to attack” in any of the four cases and told the court: “I am innocent.”
Yakuza membership is not illegal in Japan and Yakuza-owned businesses and gang headquarters are often clearly marked.