crime

Ichihashi sends letter of apology to Hawker's parents

70 Comments

The man accused of raping and killing British teacher Lindsay Ann Hawker in 2007 has sent a letter of apology to her parents, in which he says that what he did was evil, the Times newspaper reported on Tuesday.

"There is no one to blame but me. I will take the responsibility. I will never forget about her and what I did to her and you. And I will carry my cross until the moment of my death," wrote Tatsuya Ichihashi, 31, according to the Times, printing excerpts from the letter.

Ichihashi had so far denied killing the 22-year-old English teacher, whose strangled body was found buried in a sand-filled bathtub on the balcony of his apartment in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture. In the four-page letter - written in Japanese and English - Ichihashi writes "I will never forget about her and what I did to her and you. And I will carry my cross until the moment of my death," the Times reported.

Ichihashi repeatedly apologized in the letter, writing: "I am sorry. I am very sorry. I am very sorry. I am very sorry. I not only destroyed her life but I also changed your lives. What I did to her and you will never be forgiven."

According to Ichihashi's lawyers, he told them that he didn't plan to kill Hawker, but that he had crushed her windpipe while trying to prevent her from crying out. In his letter to the Hawkers, Ichihashi does not go into any details about the killing but states he did not know what was real at the time. However, he claims he became afraid afterwards and decided to escape. He writes: "I did not understand whether it was real or not at the time. I imagined she would come back to life."

But the letter, written in May, was rejected by Hawker's family, who believe the man's apology and confession were a ploy to gain leniency from the jury when his trial starts next year, the report said. In a statement, her family said, ''Tatsuya Ichihashi ran away from police and had plastic surgery to try and change his features and intended to be on the run for the rest of his life. We just want justice for Lindsay and are fully confident in Japan's justice system. There isn't any point in Ichihashi or any of his defense team getting in touch with us.''

Ichihashi was arrested last November in Osaka after being on the run for about two years and seven months. He had eluded a police hunt in part by undergoing plastic surgeries.

In his letter, he describes how he spent his years on the run working at construction sites under a false name and saving money to visit cosmetic surgery clinics. "Before then, I never had the experience of working," he wrote.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

70 Comments
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This idiot scum bag now is starting to fell sorry for the murder of this poor Nova teacher?? Too late! The girl is dead, her parents will never, never see their daughter alive, so I guess this bastard Ichihashi should aslo start to understand that he should burn in hell for all of eternity!! RIP poor UK girl

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Very important life-saving letter for Ichihashi. In return he may get suspended sentence or no guilty verdict from Japan's judges.

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Kinda late to offer an apology!! After being on the run for a long time and changing his looks so he won`t be noticed, he now is feeling sorry for what he did!! Kinda too late!! This idiot should not have a trial at all. He should be thrown into Prison for 10 years with hard labor and then after sent to the death chambers to be hanged.

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Ah, how sweet of him.

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10 years with hard labor

Do judges even give a 'hard labor' sentence anymore?

I agree, he's looking for leniency from the court - he may even cry in court when asked to enter a plea. He may also be sorry he killed Lindsay because he destroyed her life, her parents' lives, his parents' lives and, of course, his own.

This sentence shows he's still thinking about himself:

“Before then, I never had the experience of working,”

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He has their address? This guy should be hung the places in a sand bath under the hopes he might come back from the dead. Can you imagine opening a letter from the killer of your child. Let them pull the lever that will release his body through the hole to dangle until he is dead.

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Native Son J version: "According to Ichihashi’s lawyers, he told them ("I didn't want to kill her"), that he didn’t plan to kill Hawker, but that he (He silences her,she cannot breathe) had crushed her windpipe while trying to prevent her from crying out." (please dont tell on me, please dont ever tell on me)

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This man is filth. I dont believe in the death penalty but he should be in prison until he no longer poses a threat to the public. Has he been properly questioned about how he managed to survive and elude authourites for so long? He was a man who never worked and yet suddenly became so streetwise, i dont think so.

All of us with decency will understand what a vile man he is.

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borscht -- exactly. Who cares about his employment history? Is telling the Hawkers this supposed to humanize him somehow? He's a piece of sh*t and deserves the harshest penalty allowed under the law. In fact, IMO, that bright, shiny, hanging room they showed on the news a couple of months back would be fine by me. Let him see first hand how it feels to have your windpipe broken.

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uh oh, cans of worms reopened on JT....Ichi-Hawker must be the most dicussed crime story ever on this site, still one more chance for posters to vent various vitriolic barbs at Ichi....Fwiw he is just trying to save his keister as much as possible, a last desparate throw of the dice. no winners only losers in this saga.

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Very important life-saving letter for Ichihashi. In return he may get suspended sentence or no guilty verdict from Japan's judges.

That's just ridiculous. Why does someone have to trot out the same old tired stuff any time there is a murder case reported on in JT? Don't you get tired of saying the same thing every time? This guy is going to jail, I would happily place large sums of money on it.

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this is the same guy that had such a big ego that he couldn't admit he was wrong? Good work from his lawyers and his own sick, scheming mind.

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He's just lucky I'm not on the jury, because when I look at the history of this case I just see a long list of attempts to evade any responsibility for the crime, starting with fleeing the scene and (hopefully) ending with this letter. There's no sense of shame, but rather a sense of someone who's going about this coldly and dispassionately, like it's some sort of a game and if he chooses the correct combination of options he'll get away with it.

Looking at the way he's going about this I wonder if the Japanese police actually even investigated the possibility that Ms. Hawker wasn't his first victim? The way he's approach this suggests to me that possibly in the past he committed similar crimes (rape, sexual assault, etc) and got away with them, which is why he's so confident he can wriggle out of this too.

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That poor family, getting that letter and hearing about the "mistake" which caused her death....My God, he tried to quiet down the loud, resisting woman he was assaulting and, damn, who would have thought she would have a weak neck. No sympathy for this guy. If he wants to apologise, do it just before the gallows serve out his justice.

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Surely, surely the judge and jury aren`t going to be swayed by this obvious attempt to get leniency. If he was so sorry, why was he on the run for so long? Changing his appearance? Trying to evade capture?

He is sorry he got caught - nothing more, and I cant believe he would continue to put the Hawkers through this torment. Glad they can see it for what it is. This may wash in Japanese culture but it aint gonna mean a damn thing in ours.

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I know there are a lot of issues with the Japanese justice system. However, let's try to refrain from commenting about the potential verdict until the trial is over. Because he confessed to the facts and ran away for 2 years, it is very unlikely he would get a suspended sentence, as some wrote above. The judges will decide the appropriate sentence for him. If the sentence is too lenient, then it will be time for an uproar, not before. I also agree with Frungy that the police are likely investigating his past to discover other potential victims.

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Murderer. I'm glad he is starting to feel now for it will make all the more just when his life is taken from him on death row. Feel the pain of what it is like to be human and then feel none.

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Of course he's sorry. This kind of letter was only a matter of time. I hope it doesn't make a scrap of difference to the case.

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Hang him and save the taxpayers the burden of his expenses.

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This brutal, cowardly rapist and murderer has no doubt been told to write this letter by his legal team. The filth is not going to weasel his way out of a tough sentence the same way he evaded Japan's finest for so long. I think the most appropriate punishment is slow hanging.

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Yeah he must have been surprised how easily her windpipe broke while choking it with one hand while beating her with the other. Her body was found bruised and beaten if I remember correctly. His mistake was the result of an assault. Die you pathetic creep!! It won't happen soon enough. Why can't guys like this succeed with suicide in their cells?

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He's not going to get a suspended sentence. He might get a light sentence for the gravity of what he's done, but he'll never get a suspended sentence.

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“I will never forget about her and what I did to her and you. And I will carry my cross until the moment of my death,”

No matter how much he's in remorse, the Holy God will never (and ever!) forgive this piece of scum! He's going to the Hell's Gate!!

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Death sentence for him!! Hang till he dies. If not my poor mate will never RIP!!

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What a douche.

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And I will carry my cross until the moment of my death

I had no idea the Japanese used such a phrase...

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Yeah, that 'carry my cross' comment was just weasel words, trying to guess what will please Westerners.

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Defense Lawyer Tip #12: show remorse = lighter sentence

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“Before then, I never had the experience of working

What a waste of human life, worthless trash, taking whatever he wants and screw the rest, I hate the slimly defense that he accidently killed her, what BS, the act was done and he is responsible for the act. He'll get 7 years because he showed remorse .. grrr...

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for those who feel confident about this scum getting what he deserves you shud look up the obara-Blackman case to refresh yr memories on how things work

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“Before then, I never had the experience of working,” Oh you poor boy.

I generally disapprove of the death penalty...

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Usually Japanese courts will only give the death sentence for multiple murders or when someone has used a gun to commit the offence. In this case I think he'll get a decent amount of time but I think the prosecution will find it hard to prove that he intended to kill her. And this letter shows the line his defence will take at trial.

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I don't know what kind of relationship Ms. Hawker and Ichihashi had but he took advantage of the situation. Friends, Language Exchange,

He raped her which proves his motive for tricking her to coming inside his place for sex. She yelled and screamed because he knew he would get arrested or in trouble so he killed the girl to cover his tracks. He didn't have enough time to stage something or come up with a plan to hide dump the body.

The letter can be used against him since he admitted in killing Hawker. But he is pleading " not guilty " !!!! He was on the run for 2 1/2 years.

He only worked labor jobs to hide, and make quick money. He's only sorry for getting caught

If he will get " Scott Free " or suspended sentence the justice system in japan is a joke

He raped her, killed her and put her body in a sand filled bathtub. What a Freak !!!!

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It is real stupid of Times (should be the UK's Times) to print that bastard's letter.

Did Times' editor stopped and pondered for a second whether would such publication cause further harm and grief to her parents? Why open it up? Now her parents will be daunted by the reporters and will be forced to make a reply. To forgive that bastard, means unfair to their daughter. Not to forgive that bastard, means others will remark them as unforgiving.

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In this case I think he'll get a decent amount of time but I think the prosecution will find it hard to prove that he intended to kill her.]

If you need to prove "intention to kill" as mens rea in Japan, it will be an international mockery for countries practising common law.

As long as you have mens rea to inflict GBH which resulted in death, the murder motive is proven.

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Jail yes, but he won't swing.

@Apsara. Thats what I'll put large sums of money on.

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Ditto all the above. I just hope this guy never sees freedom again.His dastardly act doesn't deserve a second act or even a chance for a second act.We should make a hero out of the plastic surgeon office person who revealed the photos that led to this killers capture...after years as a fugitive. That he had the nerve to stay here instead of fleeing to to Viet Nam or Thailand etc. as rumours mentioned, prove that here in good ol Japan is the safest of all places, even for xxx like him. It makes you wonder about the relative safety and mind your own business policy of life here.

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@amerijap

No matter how much he's in remorse, the Holy God will never (and ever!) forgive this piece of scum! He's going to the Hell's Gate!!

You obviously have a very poor understanding of Christianity. Try reading a bit and learn something before telling folk what God's going to do.

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If he is truely sorry for what he has done, he should just kill himself and save everyone a lot of trouble.

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There is no one to blame but me

In other words,

I'm sorry that I got caught

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This guy embarrassed Japan. He's not going to be getting off easily or at all.

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He ruined his life. I think the Hawkers are right about his strategy for writing this letter. Why write a letter confessing to the crime before a trial? There must be a strategy.

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I believe he is sorry but it is too late, the evil thing is done.

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Sending a letter is like putting salt in the wounds of the deceased family.

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Eyeblack at 01:23 PM JST - 6th October He ruined his life. I think the Hawkers are right about his strategy for writing this letter. Why write a letter confessing to the crime before a trial? There must be a strategy.

As I understand it from other news reports he's pleading not guilty to murder because his defense team's angle is going to be that the death wasn't intentional so it's actually manslaughter or some lesser charge like aggravated assault resulting in death. Therefore there's no conflict between him writing this letter admitting the facts and him still pleading not guilty to the murder charge. Essentially he's not saying he didn't do it, his defense team is just arguing it wasn't murder.

As for the letter it's clear that he doesn't care how much he upsets Ms. Hawker's parents, he sent it on the off chance that they might possibly forgive him. If they said, "Yes, we forgive you", then he'll get a LOT lighter sentence. If they said "No, rot in hell", then he really has lost nothing and his lawyers may even be able to play it up that these people are being vindictive (and so by extension was their daughter). I think the Hawkers' neutral response was perfect in terms of giving him no leverage. He really had nothing to lose, so he thought he might as well send this letter. Personally I think it's despicable.

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Would that he thought these thoughts BEFORE committing the dastardly murder. And don't give me any of that womanslaughter BS. Any "normal" conscientious human being would never, ever take the series of very meditated horrendous actions of a) killing b) stuffing in a bathtub covered in sand (never heard of that before), c) running past 9 policeman barefoot no less, d) staying fugitive in one's own country for over 2 years even though an awkward looking individual taller than the avg Japanese person, e) multiple plastic surgeries, f) trying to finally escape to Okinawa.....I mean COME ON! All these actions were of a criminal nature and a criminal mind. Its too late to "come clean" and say I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to!" And to send such a lettter to the parents of the victim is as written above simply despicable and selfish beyond belief. Just like a-b-c-d-e-f above.

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From evidence offered in the media, a howling mob calling for a mans death, or a fawning crowd offering adultion etc, may be created at any time. Here, I see, even the mind of 'God himself' can be known & understood by reference to this or that piece of written evidence. Another tragedy has occurred here, one young woman is dead, one young man's life in fragments, two broken hearted families. I prefer that something better than hate & rage might grow out of these sad circumstances.

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If (a big if) the intention was just to commit rape and she died when he tried to stop her from shouting and screaming, the defense tactics should focus on trying to negotiate with the prosecutors for a pleading of the lessor charge of manslaughter. The prosecutor should rightfully stick to his guns and ask the judge to try the more serious charge of murder and rape. 1). The rape was premediated. he planned his course of action. 2). When she died she was found in a tub of sand. How many people have sand in their bathtub to cover a deadbody. A sign that there was an intent to kill not? 3). He evaded the police for 2.5 years, undergoing plastic surgey to alter his appearances.

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@Whiskeysour (11:11) If he will get " Scott Free " or suspended sentence the justice system in japan is a joke

Yes, and if golden apples fall from the sky I am a Helen.

Please see Frungy's 3:36pm response to the rest of your rant.

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A little late on the news as this was in England yesterday. I am glad her parents are refusing it. He should hang for this.

Moderator: It was on our site early this morning.

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But the letter, written in May, was rejected by Hawker’s family, who believe the man’s apology and confession were a ploy to gain leniency from the jury when his trial starts next year, the report said.

Smart parents. Let's hope Ichihashi hangs from the rafters from this one.

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If he really felt sorry, he would have waited until he had spent a few years in prison before writing a letter of apology to Hawker's parents.

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ensnaturae2 "one young man's life in fragments, two broken hearted families. I prefer that something better than hate & rage might grow out of these sad circumstances."

Please don't equate the perpetrators rights/sympathies to be equal to those of the dead victim and her family, for heavens sake!

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kyushujoe >You obviously have a very poor understanding of Christianity. Try reading a bit and learn something before telling folk what God's going to do.

Yeah, you're right. I'm not a devout Christian, although I go to the church every Sunday morning. The problem is NOT with "what God is trying to do." It is with this man's style of writing that brings contradictions with his motive for lenient sentence. By saying "I will carry my cross until the moment of my death," he tries to identify himself with those incorrigble sinners which could appear in any scriptures of the Bible. Remember this man disguised himself with a plastic surgery, and ran away for more than two years, since he escaped police investigation at murder scene.

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It is very scary, but women should try to be more CAREFUL here in JAPAN and anywhere, because, there are millions of scum like Ichihashi, which I pray BURNS IN HELL!!

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all he is trying to do is get leniency because Japan's law system is stupid for believing such fake letters from criminals. He didn't intend to kill her? my ass! he bought all the stuff ahead of time to bury her body! He then ran for 2 years and used plastic surgery. That is NOT an accident and he is not sorry for what he did at all.

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Oh no. Ichihashi accidentally killed her. Then he accidentally tried to decompose her body and accidentally ran out the window. After that he accidentally got a construction job and accidentally got plastic surgery. Don't you see? He's just a victim of circumstance!

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there are millions of scum like Ichihashi, which I pray BURNS IN HELL!!

I don't think praying for people to burn in hell goes down very well with the Boss upstairs.

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This weasel simply does not give up. He´ll keep on wiggling and trying anything to get out.

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I was in Jail in Japan, They read all your mail,he's doing it to show he gives a dam! In hope of a lighter sentence! That's all that low life is doing! Death penalty please!

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#

isthistheend at 08:40 PM JST - 6th October

ensnaturae2 "one young man's life in fragments, two broken hearted families. I prefer that something better than hate & rage might grow out of these sad circumstances."

Please don't equate the perpetrators rights/sympathies to be equal to those of the dead victim and her family, for heavens sake!

There is no way I will ever make the kind of hysterical, destructive judgments about anyone's life that I see on this forum, based on a few media reports. I am glad that the man has been found & is in prison, where he can hurt no-one else, and I await the full results of investigation & trial. As for his own family, there is no reason to suppose they have any share at all in his guilt, so far. They may feel as devastated & heartbroken, as the young victim's family.

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Tatsuya Ichihashi

will not be burning in hell or dancing in heaven. No sorry to let you all know that, he will only be staying in prison here on earth with a few trips to the courts until his release for good behaviour , his sad parents will gladly pick up the compensation tab and we all go back to living life until the next loony goes do-Lalo . That's the way it is folks . He said he was sorry, Now all you Christians hold hands and forgive him. Praise the Lord.

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@Kirakira25 This may wash in Japanese culture but it aint gonna mean a damn thing in ours.

I'm glad I'm not in your culture

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Yes, he does have an opportunity to go " Scott Free " because an actor was just released from prison after an overdose. So, yes there is that possibility.

@taj you are Helen you just don't know it yet !!!!! taj at 05:01 PM JST - 6th October. You can be anything you want, it's your choice of gender. Daijobu des yo !!!!

@Whiskeysour (11:11) If he will get " Scott Free " or suspended sentence the justice system in japan is a joke

Yes, and if golden apples fall from the sky I am a Helen.

Please see Frungy's 3:36pm response to the rest of your rant.

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Ichihashi kun ultimately understood what actually happend and showed his deepest apology to her parents and the family , That is the Greatest and the maximum good work towards a victims family done by a covicted murderer, in a situationt like him. I think it is very Civilized Mr Hawkers to accept the appology rather rejecting , ... hope you are not in Stone age. world is more civilised and japan too... The japanese courts will deside what is his fate/ the punisment according to the stated Law( japan ), and it will be irrelevant to victims British nationality and the astatues of her family. I wish .

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I'm glad I'm not in your culture

If you believe the tripe this guy is blustering, and think based on this rubbish he deserves forgiveness, then I think most people would be glad you are not in it either.

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Hang em High

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His lawyer made him write that letter I bet...

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The japanese courts will deside what is his fate/ the punisment according to the stated Law( japan ), and it will be irrelevant to victims British nationality and the astatues of her family. I wish .

I don't believe this is the case. It has been politicized and become an international media issue. It will matter that she is British. Japan is being judged by the whole of England now, and quote possibly Australia, Canada, and Americans.

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correction: quite possibly

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