At the first hearing in her trial for murder and robbery, Miyuki Ueta pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing two men.
"I never did such things," Ueta, a 38-year-old former bar employee, told the Tottori District Court.
The defense argued that Ueta did not commit the crimes, saying her 48-year-old former roommate was responsible for the murders and robbery.
According to charges against Ueta, she killed Kazumi Yabe, a 47-year-old truck driver, in April 2009 to avoid paying a 2.7 million yen debt. Ueta is charged with drugging Yabe with a sleep-inducing agent and drowning him in the Sea of Japan.
She has also been charged with the murder of Hideki Maruyama, a 57-year-old electrical appliance store owner, in October 2009 to avoid paying him about 1.23 million yen for appliances she had bought. She allegedly drowned him in a river after drugging him with a sleep-inducing agent.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )