An 88-year-old man on death row since 1999 for committing three murders died of pneumonia on Saturday morning at the Tokyo Detention Center.
According to the justice ministry, Wasaburo Takada had been in the hospital wing of the detention center since June of 2018, Sankei Shimbun reported. His condition worsened on Friday night and he died at 12:45 a.m. Saturday. His death leaves the number of death row inmates in Japan at 110.
Takada was sentenced to 14 years in prison for one murder and given the death penalty for two other murders committed in Saitama Prefecture between 1972 and 1974, Kyodo News reported. In February 1972, Takada conspired with a gambling friend who was in the real estate business to kill Takao Kobayashi, 45, after the friend embezzled the money which had been entrusted to him by Kobayashi.
Seventeen months after Takada hammered Kobayashi to death, he murdered the real estate agent by hitting him with a jack for fear his crime might come to light. In an unrelated incident in February 1974, Takada killed Fujio Tajima, then 32, by hitting him with a stone and then withdrew about 3 million yen from his bank account.© Japan Today/Kyodo