Man on death row since 1999 dies at 88


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

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So how do they pick which of the 110 to hang when they have one of those events? Does anyone know? I'm asking because it doesn't seem like they have a first-come-first-served approach if this man could be on death row that long. Maybe they put numbers in a drum like a New Year's lottery? And if your number is chosen, it is your fateful day... (of course there is some paperwork to take to the Minister of Justice after the decision, but this story makes me curious about the selection process). ... Although they did get rid of the Aum cultists all on the same day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr Kipling

Too easy. Too kind. Dying in prison after spending every day for 20, 30 or 40 years wondering when you will be executed could be considered a much more fitting punishment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most countries could learn from China how to conduct a death penalty. Trial, if convicted a speedy bullet in the back of the head behind the jail. Job done.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

He committed brutal crimes for gain in 1972, then died of pneumonia 48 years later.  Why was he kept around for so long?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It seems very strange to me that he could be given a 14 year jail term and the death penalty. Then, twenty years later he dies of illness in jail.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is old age one of the options offered now in capital punishment cases?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Awful man, how many tens of millions of Yen did the taxpayers have to pay to keep this jerk alive? Too much.

Rip to the three victims.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

He committed his crimes in the 1970s, convicted in 1999. So long. Regardless of your position on the death penalty, it's a waste of a life... and of tax payers money.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

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