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Yakuza boss to be sentenced to death, first ever in Japan; after sentencing he threatened the judge: ‘You will regret this for the rest of your life’ after being found guilty of ordering a string of murders and attacks over 16 years

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Satoru Nomura, 74, is the head of the violent Kudo-kai yakuza crime syndicate was sentenced to death by Fukuoka District Court in west Japan on Tuesday

His was the first ever case of a Yakuza boss being to be sentenced to death in Japan

His deputy Fumio Tanoue, 65, was sent to prison for life

Prosecutors argued he ordered three violent assaults and one murder

Nomura denies the accusations and his lawyers said he intends to appeal

After the court was vacated, Nomura told Adachi, “I asked you for a fair judgment. But this is not fair at all. You will regret this for the rest of your life.”

Tanoue also said, “You are awful, Mr. Adachi,” as he left the courtroom

Satoru Nomura, 74, [photo], is the head of the Kudo-kai crime syndicate, often described as Japan’s ‘most violent’ yakuza gang. His death sentence is the first ever against a Yakuza in Japan

A yakuza boss has been sentenced to death in Japan in a landmark decision, believed to be a first, after his criminal organization attacked other citizens, with fatal consequences.
In a high-profile trial, the head of an organized crime syndicate often described as the most violent in Japan was sentenced to death at the Fukuoka District Court on August 24.
Satoru Nomura the head of the Kudo-kai gang based in Kita-Kyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture, was handed the death penalty for his involvement in four violent incidents, leading to the death of one of the victims.
It is believed to be the first time a senior yakuza member has been sentenced to death, the BBC reported.
Kudo-kai is often described as Japan’s ‘most violent’ yakuza gang.
Nomura, the head of the Kudo-kai in southwest Japan, denied accusations he had masterminded the violent assaults.
According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, there was no direct evidence that Nomura had ordered the attacks.  However, in handing down the sentence, the judge said that the gang operated under such strict rules that it was unthinkable that attacks could have been carried out without its leader’s authorization.
The trial revolved around attacks carried out by Kudo-kai members between 1998 and 2014.
During that time, a former head of a fishing cooperative was shot and killed, and three others, including a nurse, a dentist and a former police officer, were injured by shooting or stabbing.

Sketch of Satoru Nomura, in dark suits [left], and Fumio Tanoue [right] at the Fukuoka District Court on Aug. 24, 2021

The court said in the ruling that Nomura and Tanoue conspired to carry out the four attacks.
Gang boss Nomura gave an order in the murder case, and the other three crimes were carried out under a chain-in-command structure headed by Nomura, the court said.
The Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office had sought the death penalty for Nomura, and a life sentence for Tanoue along with a fine of $182,200 [20 million yen].
While those who actually carried out the crimes have been convicted, there was no clear direct evidence to connect Nomura and Tanoue to the four cases,
Both Nomura and Tanoue have denied their involvement and claimed their innocence. Nomura was displeased with the court’s sentence and seemingly threatened the presiding judge.
After the court was vacated, Nomura told Adachi, “I asked you for a fair judgment. But this is not fair at all. You will regret this for the rest of your life.”
Tanoue also said, “You are awful, Mr. Adachi,” as he left the courtroom.
It was apparently the first time for prosecutors to seek a death penalty for a head of a gang recognized by the Prevention of Wrongful Acts by Members of Organized Crime Groups Law.
Nomura’s number two, Fumio Tanoue, was jailed for life on Tuesday, by the court.  
The court’s decision to grant the prosecution’s demand is expected to serve as precedent that will impact in future investigations and prosecution of organized crime groups.
Defense lawyers for Nomura plan to appeal the ruling, according to Kyodo news agency. 

Charges brought against gang boss Satoru and his deputy Fumio Tanoue. The men were convicted on all counts

The yakuza mafia were long tolerated in Japan as a necessary evil for ensuring order on the streets and getting things done quickly, however dubious the means.
But in recent decades, stiffer anti-gang regulations, waning social tolerance and a weak economy have resulted in steadily falling yakuza memberships.
Nomura was found guilty of ordering the fatal 1998 shooting of an ex-boss of a fisheries cooperative who exerted influence over port construction projects, major media outlets said.
He was also behind a 2014 attack on a dentist, a relative of the murder victim, as well as a 2013 knife attack against a nurse at a clinic where Nomura was seeking treatment, the court reportedly said.
The 2012 shooting of a former police official who had investigated the Kudo-kai was also deemed Nomura’s responsibility.
The official survived with serious injuries to his waist and legs, media said. 

Japanese cops officers move in to arrest Nomura at his Kitakyushu house in September 2014

Sentencing Nomura on Tuesday, the judge described his actions as extremely vicious.
The yakuza grew from the chaos of post-war Japan into multi-billion-dollar criminal organizations, involved in every area of criminal activity in the country, from drugs and prostitution to protection rackets and white-collar crime such as stock-market manipulation.
Yakuza groups are not illegal in Japan.
Unlike the Italian Mafia or Chinese triads, yakuza have long occupied a grey area in Japanese society. Each group has its own headquarters in full view of police and they frequently operate front companies out of smart offices.

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