News On Japan

Court Upholds Kishu Don Juan's Will to Donate Entire Estate to City

Wakayama, Jun 21 (News On Japan) - In a significant ruling regarding the estate of businessman 'Kishu Don Juan,' the court declared on Friday the will, which states that his 1.3 billion yen estate be donated entirely to the city, to be valid. Relatives had contested the will's validity, but the court dismissed their claims.

Kosuke Nozaki, a wealthy businessman from Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture, amassed his fortune through various ventures, including money lending and alcohol wholesale. Nozaki, who was 74 at the time of his death, was known for keeping large amounts of cash and precious metals at his home.

In a 2016 autobiography, Nozaki claimed to have dated 4,000 women and spent 3 billion yen on them, earning him the nickname 'Kishu Don Juan' after a womanizing character from Spanish literature. Despite his flamboyant lifestyle, he faced several troubles.

Two years before his death, Nozaki reported that 60 million yen worth of cash and precious metals were stolen by a female acquaintance. The following year, he was robbed of 40 million yen in valuables, although the perpetrator was quickly apprehended.

In 2018, Nozaki made headlines again when he married Saki Sudo, a model 55 years his junior. Just three and a half months later, Nozaki was found dead at his home from acute stimulant poisoning. Sudo has been arrested and charged with his murder, though the criminal trial has not yet commenced.

Alongside the criminal proceedings, another legal battle was fought over Nozaki's estate. The dispute centered on a will, written in red ink on A4-sized paper, stating: 'I donate all my personal property to Tanabe City. Kosuke Nozaki.'

Nozaki's relatives argued the handwriting was unnatural and that there was no rational motive for the donation to Tanabe City, claiming the will was not authored by Nozaki and thus invalid.

Wakayama District Court ruled on June 21 against the relatives, declaring the will valid. The court found that the handwriting bore Nozaki's unique characteristics, concluding there were no irregularities. Furthermore, the court noted that Nozaki had a history of making donations to Tanabe City and had expressed his intention to continue doing so, deeming the will consistent with his past actions. Tanabe City's claim was thus upheld.

A Tanabe City official expressed relief at the verdict, stating, 'It was a long trial, but we are relieved. We plan to use the funds for administrative activities that benefit the entire community.'

Residents of Tanabe City shared mixed reactions. One resident said, 'If it was his wish, it's good for the city to receive the donation,' while another added, 'The amount is too large to comprehend. I hope it will be used effectively.'

Attention now turns to how Nozaki's relatives will respond to the ruling.

Related: 'Don Juan' Inheritance Sparks Legal Battle

Source: TBS

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