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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 May 21 - 27  > Nagasaki mayor assassin sentenced to death
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2008 May 21 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Nagasaki mayor assassin sentenced to death

May 27, 2008
The Nagasaki District Court on May 26 sentenced to death a crime syndicate leader who shot former Nagasaki Mayor Itoh Iccho during the Nagasaki city mayoral election in April 2007.

It has been widely pointed out that the national government and police are too lenient toward violence against politicians and the right to freedom of speech.

Such acts of violence targeting politicians or journalists have occurred repeatedly. Each time, the government, municipalities, and police have been criticized for failing to take necessary measures against illegal acts committed by rightists or gangster organizations.

Defendant Shiroo Tetsuya in the past served a prison term for attempted extortion on another former Nagasaki mayor. Before firing shots at Itoh Iccho, he already showed such threatening moves as relentlessly making complaints to the city office. However, the police failed to keep an eye on the gangster.

When the late Nagasaki Mayor Ito was shot to death, then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo only issued a brief comment.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and business leaders have a history of taking advantage of right-wing organizations or crime syndicates in order to obstruct citizens’ movements, including the movement against the Japan-U.S. military alliance.

Successive prime ministers have neither straightforwardly criticized rightist groups’ violence against politicians nor showed an intension to crack down on such acts.

Likewise, the police have never seriously acted to clamp down on illegal activities. An ex-executive of a right-wing group said, “What security police do is to keep good relations with right-wing organizations, certainly not to conduct a crackdown on them.” - Akahata, May 27, 2008
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