The Okayama District Court on Wednesday sentenced a 50-year-old man to 6 1/2 years in prison for abducting and confining an 11-year-old girl in his home for five days last year.
Prosecutors had sought a jail term of 10 years.
The court heard that Takeshi Fujiwara kidnapped Sakura Moriyama while she was on her way home from school in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, in July 2014, Fuji TV reported. Police found the girl five days later in Fujiwara's home, about eight kilometers from where she was last seen.
Fujiwara, who is a freelance illustrator, told police he followed the girl home in his silver car on many occasions in May and early June of 2014. Sakura's mother had spotted Fujiwara's car and contacted police. However, she was only able to provide four digits from his number plate. At that time, she bought her daughter a cell phone with a GPS tracking system.
Fujiwara told police he approached Sakura a few hundred meters from her home on Monday July 14, threatened her with a box cutter knife and ordered her to get in his car. He told her he would kill her if she didn't obey him, police said. Along the way, Fujiwara said he threw the girl's cell phone away.
Acting on information from a local resident about Fujiwara's car, police visited his home the following Saturday night at around 10:20 p.m. They knocked on the door but there was no answer, so they broke a window and entered. They found Fujiwara and Sakura in a room with no windows. Sakura was lying on a futon in her pajamas watching TV. They asked the girl if she was Sakura Moriyama and she said yes.
The house had been renovated in December 2013 and some windows were removed. The room where Sakura was found had also been soundproofed, leading police to suspect that Fujiwara may have been planning the crime for some time.
Fujiwara told police that whenever he went out to buy groceries and other items, he locked Sakura in the room. Police also said that Fujiwara had used a fake number plate on his Toyota Vitz.
Fujiwara's lawyer told the court that his client liked Sakura and wanted to be with her. He said his client had since expressed remorse at what he had done.
Sakura's parents said she had been suffering bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder since the incident.© Japan Today