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Ground Self-Defense Force recruit indicted for killing 2 instructors

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The Gifu District Public Prosecutors Office has indicted a 19-year-old former Ground Self-Defense Force recruit on two charges of murder after he shot and killed two instructors during a live-fire training exercise last June.

Prosecutors also named the man, Naoto Watanabe, in line with a revision to Japan's juvenile law that suspects who committed crimes as minors can be named.

Prosecutors proceeded with the indictment after Watanabe underwent six months of psychiatric tests to determine if he was mentally fit to stand trial, Kyodo News reported.

The shootings occurred at the GSDF shooting range on June 14. Watanabe is accused of fatally shooting instructors Yasuchika Kikumatsu, 52, and Kosuke Yashiro, 25, and wounding another instructor by shooting him in the leg.

During questioning after his arrest, Watanabe told police he planned to steal ammunition to shoot people and that he felt no personal animosity toward the three men he shot.

Prosecutors said the trial will be heard by a lay jury.

© Japan Today/Kyodo

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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During questioning after his arrest, Watanabe told police he planned to steal ammunition to shoot people and that he felt no personal animosity toward the three men he shot.

Good thing guns and ammo aren't easy to get here

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Death penalty..

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During questioning after his arrest, Watanabe told police he planned to steal ammunition to shoot people and that he felt no personal animosity toward the three men he shot.

Japan is a death penalty country. He would have gotten it anyway if he had suceeded in getting more ammo. Not someone you want walking freely in society.

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