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crime

23-year-old man gets 18 years in prison for murder of ex-girlfriend in Yokohama

30 Comments

The Yokohama District Court has sentenced a 23-year-old man to 18 in years in prison for killing his 18-year-old former girlfriend last year.

Haruki Ito, a company employee, had pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing Sana Tominaga, a university student, in the car parking lot outside the apartment building where she lived in Tsurumi Ward, on June 29, 2023, NHK reported.

Tominaga’s mother found her lying in the parking lot and called 110. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. She had been stabbed several times.

Ito turned himself in at a police station that day. He had a blood-stained knife with him.

The court heard that Ito and Tominaga had been in a relationship since October 2021. However, Tominaga had spoken to friends about breaking up with Ito because he was becoming physically abusive and jealous.

Prosecutors said that Ito had been angry with Tominaga after she told him a week earlier that she wanted to end their relationship and then cut off contact with him. He told police he had been waiting for her to come out of her apartment so he could ambush her.

Police had been called four times since October 2021 to settle trouble between the couple. On two of those occasions, Tominaga contacted police and said she was concerned Ito was stalking her. Police issued a verbal warning to Ito and asked his parents to keep an eye on him.

Ito’s lawyer said he had wanted to patch things up with Tominaga but was unable to. “He felt as if he had lost everything in his life, so he stabbed her,” the lawyer said. “He turned himself in immediately after the crime and sincerely regrets it.”

In his ruling, Presiding Judge Goichi Nishino said: "When the defendant couldn't accept the victim's wish to end their relationship, he acted impulsively, prioritizing only his own feelings."

The judge added that "the loss of the victim's irreplaceable life is extremely serious, and the mental anguish of the parents who suddenly lost their 18-year-old daughter is enormous," but also noted that Ito has admitted to the crime and apologized, and sentenced him to 18 years in prison, despite the prosecution's request for 20 years.

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30 Comments
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A total injustice that this animal will be free at 40 - and his innocent victim had her life violently ended by him at just 18.

I hope so much he comes to grief and expires inside.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

So true, Fighto!. Worse still that the police had been contacted numerous times about the same guy, and yet again, the result of them doing little to nothing is the murder of the victim. How many times do we hear this same story? So sad, may the girl rest in peace (and her parents find some peace of their own) and the murderer rot in jail.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I never understand these ridiculously light sentences so often given in Japan. This crime deserves at least life imprisonment. Nothing less.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

robbed of maybe 60 years of life, only 18 of his.

doesn’t seem like justice to me.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

If and when the Penalty Matches the Suffering and Pain of the crime, only then this madness will STOP.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He 'Apologized' i was worried there for a minute..mist have bowed a few times too.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This was premeditated murder, which I think he should've been sent up the river for much longer. At leat 30-40 years.

Looks like the police dropped the ball again. Being contacted FOUR times requires more than a verbal warning. It requires a restraining order, which would've resulted him in being taken in.

The takeaway: Don't trust in the police here to protect you.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

18 years in a hell hole of a Japanese prison won’t exactly be a holiday. Compared with incarceration in a Western jail, convicted felons here are subject to far more intrusive and restrictive micromanagement of their every waking hour. And every moment of that will, hopefully, be one of self reproach and regret. Some people only learn the hard way.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And what about well deserved gallows????...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Out at 41 - he going to still have a lot of life to live so this is not even a punishment

5 ( +7 / -2 )

killing his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend in june 2023, they had been in a relationship since october 2021...

doing the maths, she was FIFTEEN-AND-A-HALF and he was TWENTY-ONE when they started dating.

so do you think the prison sentence is too light?

vote + for YES, vote - for NO

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Such vicious malicious person will start again when released. It is in his blood.

Health penalty, nothing else. I have two daughters.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"Health penalty " ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

People convicted of murder in a "one off " fit of jealousy or rage generally do not commit more murders on their release from custody.

There are exceptions, that is why there are Parole Boards and similar to monitor people before and post release.

And no...not "in the blood "....its 2024, not 1824.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The judge said he acted ‘impulsively’? He stalked her for a year and a half and then ambushed her outside of her apartment. This is the exact opposite of being impulsive. It’s premeditated murder and 18 yrs is a joke.

This exact pattern plays itself out over and over again.

This is a reminder to all the fathers in Japan that if your daughter finds herself in a similar position, it is better to take action yourself, rather than rely on police to help. I’d rather spend the rest of my life in jail if it means that my daughter can live her life.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

TokyoLivingToday  01:31 am JST

And what about well deserved gallows????...

Who wants punitive, retributive, vengeful, emotionally driven, authoritarian, and vindictive justice like that?!

1 ( +14 / -13 )

This is a reminder to all the fathers in Japan that if your daughter finds herself in a similar position, it is better to take action yourself, rather than rely on police to help. I’d rather spend the rest of my life in jail if it means that my daughter can live her life.

What action would you take?

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

18 years for taking a young woman's life.

Great job, Japanese judicial system.........

It should be 18 years per years she had left, not 18 years total.

She was 18, she probably had 60 more years to live. 60 X 18 = 1080.

They should have given him 1080 years in prison.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

HawkToday  10:07 am JST

This is a reminder to all the fathers in Japan that if your daughter finds herself in a similar position, it is better to take action yourself, rather than rely on police to help. I’d rather spend the rest of my life in jail if it means that my daughter can live her life.

What action would you take?

We chose not to raise our daughters in Japan for safety reasons, among other reasons, but if we had, we would not let them travel alone at any time or meet anyone with whom we don't know until they are 18 or so.

It's also essential to be close enough with them that they feel comfortable talking about their relationships. Any sign of violence in the relationship must end immediately, no questions asked.

As a youth of 19, I was living with my girlfriend of the same age, and we had an argument, and I hit her on the rear end. The next day, her mother came around to pick her daughter up, which ended the relationship.

She was a very good mother to do that.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

dido,

We chose not to raise our daughters in Japan for safety reasons, among other reasons, but if we had, we would not let them travel alone at any time or meet anyone with whom we don't know until they are 18 or so

Did you raise them in a country where there is no stalking, and no domestic or sexual violence? I'd like to know where that is.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

HawkToday  12:29 pm JST

dido,

We chose not to raise our daughters in Japan for safety reasons, among other reasons, but if we had, we would not let them travel alone at any time or meet anyone with whom we don't know until they are 18 or so

Did you raise them in a country where there is no stalking, and no domestic or sexual violence? I'd like to know where that is.

No such place.

These problems exist everywhere.

However, apart from the severe gender inequality and limited women's empowerment, Japan, particularly in the major cities, faces serious issues for females, including rampant sexual assault on public transport (chikan), stalking, upskirt photography, workplace sexual harassment, child pornography, and enjoy kōsai (compensated dating) etc.. There is also a weak societal and administrative response to these problems. And despite their prevalence, they are often hidden due to the high stigma and shame associated with being a victim (very low reporting rates) and the known ineffectiveness of the system to protect and support those girls and women affected.

It might be better in the more rural areas but our Japanese family and friends live in central Tokyo

2 ( +13 / -11 )

dido,

Thanks. Japan may have a higher rate for some of the problems you mentioned (and no doubt lower rates for others), but as you rightly say, they exist everywhere. I'm still interested in knowing where this magical place is that your daughters are 100% safe from any of it.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

HawkToday  01:12 pm JST

dido,

Thanks. Japan may have a higher rate for some of the problems you mentioned (and no doubt lower rates for others), but as you rightly say, they exist everywhere. I'm still interested in knowing where this magical place is that your daughters are 100% safe from any of it.

Surely, his/her point is to reduce risk, not eliminate it completely.

Sad case this.

This girl could have reduced her risk of being murdered by leaving this scumbag earlier if he was being abusive. Alas, it's not always easy for them.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Surely, his/her point is to reduce risk, not eliminate it completely.

Fair enough. Because that's impossible. Just putting them at higher risk of other dangers, though. Swings and roundabouts.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

HawkToday  04:38 pm JST

Surely, his/her point is to reduce risk, not eliminate it completely.

Fair enough. Because that's impossible. Just putting them at higher risk of other dangers, though. Swings and roundabouts.

What 'other dangers' could be worse for girls and young women, though?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

What 'other dangers' could be worse for girls and young women, though?

Than what? Murder? Hate to tell you, but that occurs all over the world. In many areas at a much higher rate than here.

You're saying that you didn't raise your girls here to keep them safe. I'm saying they won't ever be completly safe, they'll simply face the same dangers elsewhere. Some higher risk, some lower but the same dangers. For example, this poor young lady was murdered by her stalker (which also happens elsewhere) but in other countries, the risk for a young woman of being attacked, murdered by a complete stranger is higher.

So, still waiting to hear about this magical, crime free utopia.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

HawkToday  05:48 pm JST

What 'other dangers' could be worse for girls and young women, though?

Than what? Murder? Hate to tell you, but that occurs all over the world. In many areas at a much higher rate than here.

You're saying that you didn't raise your girls here to keep them safe. I'm saying they won't ever be completly safe, they'll simply face the same dangers elsewhere. Some higher risk, some lower but the same dangers. For example, this poor young lady was murdered by her stalker (which also happens elsewhere) but in other countries, the risk for a young woman of being attacked, murdered by a complete stranger is higher.

So, still waiting to hear about this magical, crime free utopia.

Leave the guy alone; he did not claim that there was a crime-free utopia; he said there are safer places for females. Get a grip.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Yeah. And less safe.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

The judge said he acted ‘impulsively' .............Is he actually that stupid, it was 'premeditated' that much was plain and simple to see. And he was abusive and violent before Murdering her. Giving a brutal, murdering thug like him only 18yrs is a travesty of justice, but then, that is some thing the Japanese judicial system does not bother with handing down adequate sentences for such crimes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This just doesn't feel like a long enough sentence. I can't see how anything under 30 years is acceptable. He will still be a potential danger to society in his 40s.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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