Japan Today

Nagano police mark one year since two colleagues and two women were murdered


Nagano prefectural police on Friday observed a moment of silence for two colleagues who were killed along with two women during a shooting and stabbing rampage in Nakano, Nagano Prefecture, on May 25 last year.

Approximately 80 police officers held a moment of silence at Nakano police station, NHK reported. The prefectural police band performed two songs in memory of the slain officers.

Governor Morikazu Abe expressed his condolences at a regular press conference on the same day. After the incident, many residents complained of anxiety, and he said, "I would like to work with the prefectural police to create a safe and secure town.''

Masanori Aoki, 32, was indicted last November on four counts of murder. He was deemed mentally fit to stand trial after undergoing psychiatric tests for three months.

Aoki surrendered to police after holing up for about 12 hours following the attacks on May 25. He first stabbed two local women and returned to his home nearby before going out again with a hunting gun.

He fired at the driver's side of a police car that arrived following a report about a stabbing, resulting in the deaths of two policemen -- Yoshiki Tamai, 46, and Takuo Ikeuchi, 61. Aoki then barricaded himself in his home.

One of the stabbing victims, Yasuko Takeuchi, 70, was found collapsed around 50 meters from Aoki's home, while the other, Yukie Murakami, 66, who is believed to have been taking a walk with Takeuchi and tried to run away from Aoki, was stabbed from behind.

After his arrest, Aoki told investigators that the women said "bad things about me."

During the standoff, Aoki, the son of a local assembly member who resigned following the incident, contemplated suicide but could not go through with it, so he handed a gun to his mother and asked her to shoot him, police said, citing the account the mother gave to them.

The mother took the gun, ran away and placed it on a road near the home.

According to the police, the suspect has held and renewed licenses for four hunting guns, including shotguns and air guns, since 2015.

Aoki was quoted as telling investigators that he killed the policemen as he was afraid they would "shoot and kill me.”

No date has been set for the start of his lay judge trial, prosecutors said.

© Japan Today/Kyodo

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Sad account. RIP to the deceased, condolences to their families, friends and acquaintances, and hats off to the police officers killed in the line of duty. Thanks to all police officers and emergency services personnel putting their lives on the line every day to protect citizens, thankfully in Japan it's rare to read about citizens using guns to kill.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When there is no doubt, while keep an absolute murderer living so long.

Judge and all the judicial system for that case are paid at the expense of the taxpayer for no reason.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

"shoot me, momma"

He knew she wouldn't do it; he was just trying to put guilt on someone other than himself

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

An overwhelming majority of Japanese people support capital punishment. Proponents of its abolition would do well to ponder the reason why this is the case, and why for the most heinous of crimes, there is negligible public support for removing it from the statute books.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


One of the reasons I am generally against the death penalty is that miscarriages of justify occur in this world. Particularly in a justice system so weighted towards the police and prosecutors as the one in Japan.

A case like this is cut and dried, for certain but many are not and a lot of here convictions are based on confessions alone. Confessions that are obtained in extremely dubious circumstances , under duress and without the presence of legal counsel.

You only have to see the story in the news last week about the boxer who spent so many years on death row and then had his conviction quashed.

It would appear the death penalty would have been killing an innocent man, in this case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stuart Gale

You readily concede there are “cut and dried”, presumably deserving of the death penalty cases, yet want to deny use of the penalty in ALL cases. Presumably, just to be consistent, you’d be fully in accord with the proposition that “beyond reasonable doubt”, the principle upon which our criminal justice system is based, is not fit for purpose and should therefore be junked. After all, who would want a justice system that instils doubt?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think certain despicable crimes when there is absolutely no doubt as to the guilt of the perpetrator, i.e. the Kyoto animation arson murders fully deserve the death penalty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’m glad we cleared that up and that you’re not in favor of junking the justice system on account of ‘on the balance of probabilities’, being an insufficient safeguard when determining guilt, not only in the first instance but also the inevitable appeals process for capital crimes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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