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6 men given suspended sentences over Roppongi club attack


Six men arrested in connection with the fatal beating of a man in a Roppongi nightclub last September have been found guilty of aiding and abetting, and given suspended sentences by the Tokyo District Court.

In all, 15 men were arrested for the attack under the leadership of 31-year-old Taichi Ishimoto. Police say Ishimoto is the former leader of Kanto Rengo, a defunct biker gang formerly based in the Kanto region, which has since split into factions with alleged yakuza ties.

The six men found guilty on Friday were charged with preparing baseball bats and other blunt weapons for the attack in which the 31-year-old bar owner was killed, Fuji TV reported.

Police believe blunt weapons were used in the attack in a deliberate attempt to avoid the harsher penalties incurred for violations of the sword and firearms laws. The Japanese Penal Code allows for penalties of imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to 300,000 yen for anyone found guilty of assembling with weapons for the purpose of jointly harming an individual or property.

Police say the victim, Ryosuke Fujimoto, may have been killed after he was mistaken for another man at the club at the same time.

The attack occurred last Sept 2. A gang of 10 men wearing ski masks came into the club Flower at about 3:40 a.m. Some were brandishing metal bats and attacked Fujimoto who was drinking with friends. The attack lasted about 1-2 minutes, witnesses said. The gang left immediately after the assault and got away in two vehicles.

Surveillance camera footage showed members of the gang getting out of their vehicles before entering the club and showed the vehicles leaving after the attack.

Upon passing the sentences on the six defendants, the Tokyo District Court said, "You may not have committed acts of violence yourselves, but we cannot ignore that by driving and preparing the weapons, you enabled the attack." The men were given suspended sentences of one and a half years in prison.

The trial of Ishimoto and other gang members who carried out the actual attack has yet to begin.

© Japan Today

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For assisting and supplying weapons in a brutal murder like this, a suspended sentence seems quite light.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

When you plan to commit murder, then take an overt act toward that end, it's conspiracy. Conspiracy to murder should garner a sentence like the murder itself. A suspended sentence will only encourage similar crimes.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

10 'men' armed with baseball bats to beat down one (assuming) unarmed man. What a bunch of cowardly thugs. These conspirators should have gotten some jail time. And the 2 year jail//300,000 yen fine maximum, even for those who did the beating, is a joke.

The article doesn't speculate on the reason for the attack. It suggests possible mistaken identity but nothing to say what the motivation for the attack was.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Suspended 1 1/2-year sentences?!? For conspiracy to commit murder?? The Japanese judiciary continues to utterly baffle me.

12 ( +13 / -1 )


9 ( +9 / -0 )

Only in Japan!

7 ( +13 / -5 )

Weak, weak punishment. Japanese law in this case is not a deterrent at all. 2 years max is a vacation.

Blunt or not, if it kills, it's just as good as the sharp ones. The act is even worse, when using something like a bat. Pounding, pounding, and some more pounding. Pretty barbaric. And a team effort? They should go straight to hell.

Please, improve this law.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

you would get a heavier sentence for doing drugs...

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I really do not get Japanese law! Its all over the place and makes no sense!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Yakuza always get light sentences, they've paid their protection money.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

These six men received 1 year and 6 months imprisonment, but their sentence should not have been suspended.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The most horrible part about all of this tragedy is that they got the wrong guy. Some poor guy, not a gangster, drinking with friends, gets killed. And these clowns get a suspended sentence, which means it's back to business as usual.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So the guy that was killed was actually mistaken for someone else? I didnt know that. So the victim was totally innocent??! That could have been my husband, my friend, or anyone elses. Awful.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

My words about this judgment are lost in translation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

ChibaChick, do you see in the article where it says : "Police say the victim, Ryosuke Fujimoto, may have been killed after he was mistaken for another man at the club at the same time."

Nothing is clear-cut, but a horrible thought indeed.

These guys must have refused to talk.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

mistaken for someone else? ..could have been my husband, my friend, or anyone elses. Awful

That changes what ? Anyone deserves being murdered. You hubby murdered by some yakuza stalking you would be less awful than if he was just mistaken ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Imagine, if you will, i was given the SAME amount of time ( but also with a Suspended Sentence ) for growing two plants on my balcony 20 years ago, but THESE GUYS grt thatfor assisting in a MURDER. "What's WRONG with this Picture " ?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is BS!!! They helped kill a man!!! WTF is Wrong with this screwed up system??? Oh, yeah the police and judges work for the yaks!!!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japanese law does not have a good system for dealing with conspiracy. For instance, it was also lenient to the deranged minions of AUM Supreme Truth "guru," Shoko Asahara. Only the top members (13 in all) received death sentences. The others were considered to be only "following orders" and were therefore let off the hook with slaps on the wrist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

WTF? These goons belong behind bars as much as the actual wielders of the bats.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ha, ha ha, Japanese justice system is first world. Ha, ha, ha

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Those sentences are a joke the actual guys who wielded the bats will be laughing and smiling now, imagine what they will be thinking, Free by Xmas Time !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Note to potential killers in Japan : choose a blunt weapon as your killing device - you'll get off scot-free.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Now the posters above me will have to look over their shoulder every weekend when they are looking for gaijin hunters in Roppongi

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This has the making of a fart joke. Great message to send to the Olympics Committee, you know how most foreigners who are young have the cash will make their way to Roppongi....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

japan needs a felony murder law. if a murder is committed during the commission of a felony, all accomplices get charged with the murder whether they intended it to happen or not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So did these six come forward and offer to identify and testify against the planners and the guys who actually carried out the attack? Is that the reason for the light sentences?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

is there something the judge sees that I'm not seeing? Is it a cultural difference? This is disgusting

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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