Ex-yakuza member arrested for murder committed 16 years ago


A member of the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate wanted for a double murder committed in Kobe in 1997 has been arrested after 16 years on the run, police said Thursday.

Harutoshi Zaitsu, 56, was wanted for shooting to death 61-year-old yakuza member Masaru Takumi and a dentist in a hotel cafe in Kobe, TV Asahi reported.

An officer reportedly spotted Zaitsu on Wednesday, after he came out of hiding, and arrested him. Police said Zaitsu has confessed to murdering both men.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Statute of limitations was abolished in murder cases in 2010.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I heard on the news last night that they caught him yet can't do anything else about it because of "statute of limitations?" is that correct? If true, that is really one of the most ridiculous statutes ever concocted in mankind

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They used to have a SOL on murder but I believe it was abolished and in any event, it was 25 years so this guy would have no chance regardless.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good thing to hear he has confessed to both murders.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These Japanese police are so cool!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think the statute of limitations was abolished in 2010. So he will face his crimes. Malfupete yes you can leave the yakuza you can quit anytime you like.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Was he on the run or in hiding?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where had he been hiding all this time?

It is amazing that he should be arrested by some eagle eyed cop?!?!

More to this story.........?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

statute of limitations?"

Japan eliminated the statute of limitations for murder a few years ago.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Chin4Sailor, yes you are probably correct if the SOL was 16 years or less but since the SOL for murder was 20+ years, even under the old law he would be prosecuted as the SOL hadn't expired.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

my father in law managed to leave, so it can be done, you might lose a pinky in the process though!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"(May 21, 2010) The Diet, Japan's legislature, amended the country's Criminal Procedure Law to abolish the statute of limitations for murder and other crimes that result in the deaths of persons. The amendments became effective on April 28, 2010, the day after the Law to Amend the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Law was promulgated (Law No. 26 of 2010). The new Law is applied to cases in which the statute of limitations had not run out as of its effective date, even if the crime was committed before the new Law's enactment. (Criminal Procedure Law, Law No. 131 of 1948, amended by Law No. 26, Attached Provisions, art. 3.)"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Somebody has to stop the yak on yak crime.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I didn't think there was any such thing as EX-Yakuza?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In a country where you cannot hide a bicycle for more than a week: Chapeau Zaitsu-san!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

wanted for a double murder committed in Kobe in 1997 has been arrested after 16 years on the run


I thought Japan (one of the only industrialized countries) still had a Statute of Limitations on Murder, something like 7 or 8 years..?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the only way to "leave" the yakuza is for your oyabun to kick you out.. you can't just quit or retire from it

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So you can leave the yakuza without being killed...interesting.. I wonder what kind of trial he will have since it has been sixteen years.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

An officer reportedly spotted Zaitsu. Yeah right? I am sure the officer just happened to know what this guy looked like.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

wakarimasen...can't read?

after he came out of hiding,

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Terry Tibbs

Statute of limitations was abolished in murder cases in 2010.

Really..? Even then, technically, he cannot be charged for a murder that had actually expired under the then, statute of limitations... He would have had to commit the murder(s) after the new law went into effect. (or within the limit of the then statute)

If this were the case, there were dozens of murder cases, which were not prosecuted, because hey were outside the statute... So that would mean, they can now prosecute all these other cases, going back even 50 or 60 years...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites