Man gets 22 years for hit-and-run deaths of 3 women in Otaru


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.

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Should be life, 3 lifetimes. What an amoral, hideous entity. Rot and suffer slow.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

He deserve that even though it is short sentence for killing 3 innocent ...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For Japan this is a long sentence

5 ( +5 / -0 )

22 years. When he gets out, he'll still be young enough to start over (although I'm guessing he'll be put on the benefit and given a council flat). What about the stolen years of those women? I don't understand this sentence at all.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Comes out to about 7 years per life. Cheap.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Deserves life without parole.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not too many years ago this kind of incident would have attracted a much shorter sentence. At least the court is making use of the longer sentences that are now available.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

YongYang Really? 22 years not enough? He also handed himself in.....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is really unpleasant to read, but I'm glad he got a decent sentence for it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He must have plowed into and run over them to kill 3. I cannot recall a car hitting and killing 3 persons, very unusual. Should do the honorable thing and hang himself.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japanese justice! Three young lives snuffed out instantly and another sure to suffer, all because of drunk driving (or emailing while drinking and driving, if you want to take his 'excuse' seriously), and he gets a mere fraction of what he stole. It should be 22 years PER life at least! Not here, though.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

22 years is quite a long sentence for a hit and run. I think it's fair.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Of course this is 22 years in a Japanese prison. It will not be an easy time for him.

0 ( +1 / -2 )

Kazunori Harano, the 61-year-old father of Sayaka Harano, one of the victims, said he couldn’t believe he had lost his only daughter, whom he had driven to work every morning.

“I thought the police were kidding me when they told me that the victim is my daughter,” Harano said. “I feel like I have become a living corpse.”

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The extremists are out today, but however you turn this case, it was gross negligence, not a deliberate homicide. Further, it was in one event, not three (the three dead were just bunched together). Further, he did confess to the crime. And with him being so drunk, he's also not fully mentally competent (diminished responsibility) and that is also a factor.

I don't see how any court could counternance a significantly longer sentence than this without blurring the lines between murder and gross negligence leading to death, or denying the value of confession.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Deserves life without parole.

Deserves the death penalty! No one made him drink, no one made him drive, no one made him look at his phone when he should have been walking. It's premeditated murder!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

22 years is the rest of his youthful life. I doubt he'll be able to get a good job when he's out. This was a just sentence. I almost feel sorry for him. He made a mistake and turned himself in.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I guess he will never smoke or use a cellphone again!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YongYang Really? 22 years not enough? He also handed himself in.....

He handed himself in, and he was drunk. Two mitigating factors? Are you kidding me? He robbed three humans of a combined life span of more than 150 years. He denied them a future, he denied their families, friends happiness. He failed to report the killing immediately. He lied about the circumstances. He turned a vehicle into a lethal weapon. He got off easy.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

YongYang Really? 22 years not enough? He also handed himself in.....

Easy to have a lack of compassion from the outside looking in.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Comes out to about 7 years per life. Cheap.

That's what I'm thinking. Very lenient. LoL, if they "rehabilitate" him, he might be released back into society in about a decade. The media will refer to him as: "Boy B".

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If he had not been drinking, what sentence do you think he would have deserved? None? Less? The same? What about if he admitted to checking his phone but tested negative for alcohol?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


Those questions fascinate me. Is it worse if you're drunk, because you chose to consume alcohol, or not as bad because you weren't entirely in control of yourself?

It's almost philosophical, rather than legal.

I sure as heck don't know....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Shallots, if this were Langtry, he would deserve more - at least by 3 years if not 9 years - because he 'd know better than to check the phone whilst driving; then again if this were in Langtry he'd been given 66 years!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

He left the scene, just maybe minutes were the difference between recovery from the accident to DOA. Any hit and run involving injury is a very serious crime in my opinion. Add to that drunk, and playing with his cell phone....he got off easy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@lucabrasi I was listening to something about moral luck recently. Aside from the particulars of this guy's case, it seems like many of us have done stupid things and been lucky not to have caused injury or worse. On a different note, I wonder why they run these crime stories so much since they have no larger meaning to the foreign community.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

OK so 22 years is all he gets. He was drunk and not paying attention. He knew he hit someone and ran away. While this was an accident, it turned into aggravated manslaughter by his leaving the scene. I agree with Mark, he may have been able to save life if he stopped and reported the accident, so this makes everything more serious.

Should be longer, but 22 years is all he gets. I hope that the justice system does NOT parole him early and never gives him another drivers license .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

3 lives ended forever and 22 years is all he gets? I'm sure the sole survivor is damaged for life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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