“Which will come first, my own death or the execution? That’s all I’ve been thinking about. I now have something to take with me to my daughters when it’s my time to go,” says the victims’ father, Kazuo Uehara, 60.
Uehara, still coping with his health after suffering a stroke last year, heard from the media that the execution had taken place. Yukio Yamaji, 25, one of the youngest to be handed the death penalty in postwar Japan, was executed on July 28 at the Osaka Detention Center.
In 2000, Yamaji had killed his mother with a metal baseball bat at the age of 16. Shortly after being released in 2004, in the following year he raped and stabbed to death two sisters sharing an apartment – Asuka Uehara, 27, and her sister Chihiro, 19.
The man admitted to the slaying of the sisters and asked for the death penalty, making freakish comments in court such as “Killing humans is the same as breaking something.”
Akira Hashiguchi, his attorney at the time, expressed his disappointment in being unable to find any sign of remorse in the man. The death row inmate had long been uncommunicative, but the final time he met Yamaji, he was certain the man was suffering “incarceration fatigue,” having lost considerable weight and asking to be executed as soon as possible.
Without family or friends, he had no last words, and remained silent all the way to the execution chamber. In the absence of any clarification as to his motive for the killings, the murder remains a mystery.© Japan Today