Serial child killer Tustomu Miyazaki, 45, was executed on June 16, two years and four months after the Supreme Court finalized his death sentence in February 2006, ending a trial process that had lasted 16 years. As in every execution case, Miyazaki's execution started a debate between those for and against the death penalty.
Author Shinobu Yoshioka says, “The judgment by the court was not persuasive at all. Without any clarification of the case, everything has been shut down.” Sociologist Kazuya Serizawa adds, “The timing of his execution was to reassure the public in the aftermath of the Akihabara stabbing rampage.”
What did Miyazaki himself think of his pending execution? In July, 2006, he wrote to monthly magazine Tsukuru and called capital punishment “an inhuman criminal act.” He said: "It must be ghoulish when the trapdoor opens and I drop through it. Every prisoner is forced to feel terror after being told of their execution by prison staff on the day, which is inhuman.”
However, some insiders say Miyazaki didn't seem frightened before the execution. In May, a friend of Miyazaki visited him and found he was interested in cartoons. A former inmate of the same prison says, “Miyazaki purchased photo books of young kids and girls' magazines every two weeks.”
“He had a blank face when I visited him,” says Kazuhiro Hasegwawa, a clinical psychotherapist and professor at Tokai Gakuin University. “About his killing four girls and dissecting them, he told me 'Kids are happy (to be dissected)'. He looked like he thought the execution was a misunderstanding or something. He wasn't frightened at all. I think his feelings didn't change at all until the last minute before the execution.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)© Japan Today