Man gets 16 years for murder of 9-year-old stepson


A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Saitama District Court for killing his 9-year-old stepson in September last year.

According to the court ruling on Friday, Yusuke Nagashima, then unemployed, strangled his stepson Ryosuke with a cord on the afternoon of Sept 17, Sankei Shimbun reported. The boy’s body was found early the next morning in a utility meter box opposite the family's apartment in Saitama, after his 42-year-old mother, a teacher, reported him missing the previous evening.

Nagashima, who moved in with the boy’s mother in December 2018 and married her in March 2019, had taken part in the search for the boy. He told his wife that Ryosuke had gone to an English conversation school, but did not return home at the expected time. The boy never arrived at the school.

After his arrest, Nagashima told police that he had scolded Ryosuke for losing his hat and the boy talked back to him. He said he lost his temper when Ryosuke told him "You're not my real father.”

The apartment complex is a housing facility for teachers located about 4 kilometers east of JR Omiya Station. The meter box where Ryosuke’s body was found was often used by children playing hide-and-seek, residents said.

Prosecutors had sought a 20-year prison term for Nagashima, while his defense asked for eight years, arguing that the crime was not premeditated.

© Japan Today/Kyodo

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Tough one! Being how lax Japan is on rape, violence, and murder, I am happy to see him receive 16 years!

But he hopefully will die in prison and never get out. Why should he be walking around when 50 years old when he strangled a small child to death for nothing?

He should receive life in prison.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Wow! I love this country and I still think it's the best in the world, but it's justice system is a joke, he should've gotten the rope+trapdoor combo. Child killers deserve no mercy!

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Ridiculous. He shouldn't be allowed out until he is an old man, if at all.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Inexusable that he got less than 30 years.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

One moment of anger destroyed two lives, plus the mothers. The poor child’s words must of really hurt him emotionally. I think he genuinely loved the child and mother maybe?

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

Umm you don’t strangle someone you love. It’s possible he loved the mother but is one of those people who could ever love a child that is not biologically theirs. Heck my wife was a single mother with a 1yo when I met her. I adopted him. I guess it’s different because in my case the child was so young and I’m the only father he’s ever known. But wtf? You don’t kill any child ever. Kids can be selfish little brats at times and talk back at you. That’s called parenting and give them a time out if they misbehave

9 ( +11 / -2 )

16 years is too short. He robbed a 9 year old of 70 years of life so take at least 35 years from him.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

He should not have been a father.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

16 years for murdering a child? wow what a lax legal system

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Imagine the poor kid's fear in those final moments. Just 9 years old. No one to help him. Killed by one of the people supposed to take care of him. A minimum of 35 years would be far more appropriate for the killer.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

death penalty fans are really puzzling. revenge killings do nothing to prevent killings.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Trying to imagine the unimaginable pain that the boy's Mother must be feeling drops me into a dark abyss of misanthropy. A late child, highly desired and loved by someone whose whole career and life is centered on children... In a sane world, it would be her who passed judgement on this child murderer, and I would have volunteered to perform that judgement, whatever it was, without hesitation nor regret...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder why does it matter whether or not it was premeditated? He permanently stole somebody's life that can never be returned. Each and everyone of us have to reap the consequences of our actions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Remember, the Japanese justice system is based on formulas. If the suspect has not had a prior offense, it pushes down the available range of the possible sentence. They have to consider many things, such as the general deterrence in the rest of society upon hearing of the sentence ("I don't want to go to jail for 16 years so I had better not murder my stepson"), protection of society from the suspect (he will have a hard time murdering any children while confined), and specific deterrence to him (he cannot do this again without a far more severe sentence the second time.) So if you are a first-time offender, never in trouble with the law before now, you will always get a more lenient sentence. Just a few days ago, JT commenters were upset with the suspended sentence for the road-rage case. The same thing happened there - first-time offenders who cooperate and plead guilty will get more leniency from the court.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only 16 years? The Japanese justice system is out of whack. People get high sentences for non-crimes, and murderers like this get away cheap.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Japan locked up people at the same rate the US does, it would have roughly 780 thousand people in prison. It has less than 50 thousand in prison.

Which country is safer?

Which country has less violent crime?

Which country has less crime overall?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Henny Penny

If Japan locked up people at the same rate the US does, it would have roughly 780 thousand people in prison. It has less than 50 thousand in prison.

Which country is safer?

Which country has less violent crime?

Which country has less crime overall?

Non sequitur. Japan is not safer because it does not lock up criminals, it is safer because the population comits less crime.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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