Fukuoka family murder case

The Fukuoka family murder case (福岡一家4人殺害事件, Fukuoka ikka yonin satsugai jiken) was a robbery-murder by three Chinese international students in the Higashi-ku ward of Fukuoka, Japan, on June 18, 2003.

Fukuoka family murder case
Native name 福岡一家4人殺害事件
English nameFukuoka family murder case
DateJune 18, 2003 (2003-06-18)
LocationHigashi-ku, Fukuoka, Japan
TypeRobbery-murder
TargetMatsumoto family
ConvictedWei Wei, Yang Ning, Wang Liang
SentenceWei: Death (Executed 26 December 2019)
Yang: Death (Executed 12 July 2005)
Wang: Life imprisonment

Outline of the incidentEdit

On June 20, 2003, the bodies of Shinjiro Matsumoto (松本 真二郎, Matsumoto Shinjiro, age 41), his wife Chika (千加, age 40), and their two children (ages 8 and 11) were found in Hakata Bay handcuffed and weighed down with dumbbells. Shinjiro Matsumoto had been strangled with a tie, and Chika had been drowned in a bathtub. Their children had been otherwise strangled or smothered. Once the victims had been murdered, their bodies were transported by vehicle to Hakata Bay where they were discarded.

Three suspects were identified from witness testimony near the discovery site and surveillance camera footage from the store where the handcuffs and dumbbells used for the crime had been sold.

The first suspect, Wei Wei (魏 巍), was a 24-year-old former language student in Japan. He was detained by police in another case. He pleaded guilty to four counts of murder but contended that he was not a central figure in the case and testified that the murder was the result of a plan to rob the family while they were at home.[1]

The remaining two suspects, Yang Ning (楊 寧) and Wang Liang (王 亮), were also students. They had fled to Mainland China after the murders and were arrested there. [2]

The three assailants said, "I committed a crime for the purpose of robbery". Chika and Shinjiro ran a high-end restaurant, and Wang arrived by accident on the way to a part-time job. On seeing a Mercedes-Benz parked outside the restaurant, Wang thought that, "There must be a bank deposit of around tens of millions of yen in Matsumoto's house."[3] However, there are doubts that robbery was the main motive in the case. On February 5, 2004, the Japanese daily newspaper Nishinippon Shimbun reported, "For the purpose of robbery, the amount of cash stolen was as small as about 40,000 yen, and there were many suspicious points, such as the fact that valuables such as cameras were left behind. Besides the three, there is a suspicion that an accomplice may be present."[4]

Progress of criminal trialsEdit

Hearing by the Chinese side (Yang and Wang)Edit

Yang and Wang were both arrested by public security officials in China and charged on July 27, 2004, about a year after the case. They were sentenced to severe punishment by prosecutors at the first trial on October 19, 2004.[5] On January 24, 2005, the Liaoyang Intermediate People's Court sentenced Yang to death and Wang to life imprisonment.[6]

Yang was sentenced to death on February 3, 2005.[5][7] His death sentence was confirmed by the Liaoyang Superior People's Court after a ruling which dismissed the appeal. Yang was executed on July 12, 2005, at the age of 25.[8]

Yang and Wang's criminal trial in China proceeded in step with Wei's trial in Japan, but the Chinese government did not respond officially to Wei's prosecution. Commentators in Japan compared sentencing and public opinion toward the accused.[7]

Hearing by the Japanese side (Wei Wei)Edit

Wei was indicted in Japan on March 23, 2004, by Judge Hiroshi Suyama of the Fukuoka District Court. The fact of prosecution was largely confirmed in the first trial,[9] and on February 1, 2005, opening statements began regarding whether the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office should seek the death penalty.[5]

During the first trial on May 19, 2005, the Fukuoka District Court (Presiding Judge Kawaguchi) sentenced Wei to death.[10] After accepting to hear Wei's case, the Court of Appeals broke with the District Court's silence, yielding detailed testimony on the motive, the criminal process, the role of the three assailants, and Wei's apology to the victims' bereaved family. On March 8, 2007, the Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the District Court in favor of the death sentence.[11]

Wei's appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed by the presiding judge, Shiraki Isamu (Japanese: 白木勇), on October 20, 2011.[12] The death sentence was finalized in the following month.[13]

Approximately eight years and one month after Wei's death sentence was finalised, Minister of Justice Masako Mori issued an execution order for Wei on December 23, 2019. On December 26, he was executed at Fukuoka Detention House at the age of 40.[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Japan executes first foreigner in years - Chinese man who killed a family". Hindustan Times. 2019-12-26. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  2. ^ "Japan carries out rare execution of foreigner". BBC News. 2019-12-26. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  3. ^ "緊急特集 東区一家4人殺害事件 > 「死体隠せば捕まらぬ」 口封じ最初から計画 検察冒陳「数千万円あるはず」 東区一家殺害初公判". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun Co., Ltd. 2004-03-23. Archived from the original on 2005-10-26. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  4. ^ "緊急特集 東区一家4人殺害事件 > 遺族が再捜査要請 福岡市東区一家殺害 「共犯いるはず」". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun Co., Ltd. 2004-02-05. Archived from the original on 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  5. ^ a b c "福岡市東区一家殺害の経過". Nishinippon Shimbun. No. Morning issue. 2005-05-20. p. 30.
  6. ^ "緊急特集 東区一家4人殺害事件 > 楊被告に死刑 王被告無期 東区一家殺害 残虐な犯行明白 中国法院判決 王被告の自首認定 楊被告控訴の意向". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun Co., Ltd. 2005-01-24. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  7. ^ a b "福岡一家殺害 X被告近く二審判決か 中国側、対日動向踏まえ判断へ". Nishinippon Shimbun. No. Morning issue. 2005-05-20. p. 5.
  8. ^ "中国人被告に死刑執行/福岡一家4人殺害事件". Shikoku Shimbun (in Japanese). 四国新聞社. 2005-07-25. Archived from the original on 2019-12-27. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  9. ^ "緊急特集 東区一家4人殺害事件 > 魏被告 罪状大筋認める 東区一家殺害 初公判 困窮、焦り犯行 福岡地裁 検察、冒陳で指摘". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun Co., Ltd. 2004-03-23. Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  10. ^ "東区一家殺害事件 Z被告に死刑 福岡地裁判決 『身勝手かつ冷酷』 共謀、『従属』と認めず". Nishinippon Shimbun. No. Morning issue. 2005-05-20. p. 1.
  11. ^ "福岡市一家殺害、魏巍被告に控訴審も死刑判決". Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 読売新聞社. 2007-03-08. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  12. ^ "福岡一家殺害、元中国人留学生の死刑確定へ". The Nikkei (in Japanese). Nikkei, Inc. 2011-10-20. Archived from the original on 2019-12-27. Retrieved 2019-12-27.
  13. ^ a b "福岡の一家4人強殺、死刑執行 中国人の元専門学校生 森法相初の命令". Nishinippon Shimbun (in Japanese). Nishinippon Shimbun Co., Ltd. 2019-12-26. Archived from the original on 2019-12-27. Retrieved 2019-12-27.