The Sapporo District Court on Thursday sentenced a 32-year-old man to 22 years in prison for the hit-and-run deaths of three women in Otaru, Hokkaido, last summer.
The court heard that four women were found lying on a narrow road by a passing motorist at around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 13, last year. The four women had been walking back to a train station from the beach when they were hit from behind by Masahide Kaizu.
Three of the women -- two aged 29 and one aged 30 -- were confirmed dead on arrival at hospital, while the fourth woman, aged 30, sustained heavy injuries and recovered.
Kaizu admitted to hitting the women, Fuji TV reported. Prosecutors said that after Kaizu hit the women, he drove to a convenience store and bought cigarettes before calling police about 15 minutes later.
When he was arrested, Kaizu said he had been drinking for nearly 12 hours at a nearby beach. Kaizu told the court that alcohol was not a factor and that he had been looking at his cell phone just before he hit the women.
The presiding judge said there was no doubt that Kaizu had been drinking heavily before the accident.© Japan Today