04 July 2023 :
The Japanese Supreme Court on July 3, 2023 upheld the death sentence for a man convicted over the deaths of three people, scrapping his appeal to finalize the ultimate penalty handed down to him in earlier district and high court rulings.
Takashi Uemura, 56, was convicted of murdering two men and illegally confining a third, resulting in his death.
According to the district and high court rulings, Uemura caused the death of a former yakuza, aged 57 at the time, by confining him in April 2010 in Hyogo Prefecture.
He was also found guilty of shooting and killing a 50-year-old former ad agency president in June that same year and strangling a 37-year-old man in the prefectural city of Himeji in February 2011.
Harune Nakamura, 52, who was indicted as the ringleader in the three cases, was found not guilty on one murder count in the district and high courts, and his life sentence was finalized by the Supreme Court in 2022.
Uemura's defense team criticized the ruling sentencing Uemura to death when he was in a subordinate position in the crime as "one-sided," but the top court's second petty bench presided over by Justice Akira Ojima rejected the defense's claim, saying that Uemura "played a core role among those who carried out the crime," adding, "It's truly grave that he took the lives of three people."
Justice Mamoru Miura, former superintendent prosecutor of the Osaka High Public Prosecutors Office, removed himself from the trial, and the remaining three justices of the second petty bench all supported the district and high courts' decisions.