Man pleads guilty to killing 9 people
NHK -- Oct 01
A 29-year-old man has pleaded guilty to killing nine people at his apartment.

The remains of eight women and one man, aged 15 to 26, were found at an apartment in the city of Zama of Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo in October 2017.

Shiraishi Takahiro, who lived at the apartment at the time, was charged with murder, theft of the victims' belongings and abandoning the victims' remains in coolers. He is also alleged to have sexually assaulted the victims.

The lay judge trial on the case began on Wednesday at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court.

Shiraishi, wearing long hair, glasses and a white face mask, appeared calm as he admitted to the charges.

His lawyer argued that the victims had agreed to be killed, so the charge against Shiraishi should be homicide with consent.

The lawyer also claimed Shiraishi either could not be held criminally responsible, or was extremely frail mentally at the time.

The prosecution explained that Shiraishi opened a Twitter account in March 2017 to contact women contemplating suicide, whom he saw as easy targets.

They said he pretended to also be planning to kill himself, and began exchanging text messages with several women.

神奈川県座間市のアパートで、若い女性ら9人の遺体が見つかった事件で、強盗殺人などの罪に問われている白石隆浩被告(29)の初公判が30日、開かれました。 性的暴行を加えたうえで、殺害した罪などで起訴された白石被告の髪は長く伸び、緑色の服を着て、重い足取りで証言台に向かい「起訴状の通り、間違いありません」と述べました。白石被告はツイッターで知り合った被害者らに「一緒に自殺しよう」と騙して、自身のアパートに誘い込み、殺害に及んだということです。白石被告と自らの弁護士とで主張が食い違う場面もありました。起訴内容を認めた白石被告に対し、弁護士は「被害者の全員が殺害されることを承諾していた」として、殺人罪より刑が軽い承諾殺人の罪に留まると主張。検察側は「被害者は承諾しておらず、責任能力にも問題ない」と指摘しています。双方の主張が交わされるなか、当の白石被告は目を閉じ、足を投げ出したような体勢で座っていました。  17歳の娘を亡くした男性:「娘の存在感はそのままだから。事件当時も今も変わらない。娘が戻る以外はどんなことしても晴れない。時が進んでいないから。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Oct 24
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 29-year-old male elementary school teacher for allegedly requesting that a boy send him indecent pictures, reports NHK (Oct. 23). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 23
A 36-year-old man who is suspected of murdering his girlfriend in Takasaki City has said told his wife that he committed the crime before he died in an apparent suicide, police have revealed, reports TBS News (Oct. 21). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 23
Halloween in Japan is expected to be celebrated in new ways this year, at socially distanced events or online with revelers upping their facial decorations, as attempts are being made to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
A man who fled from Saitama Prefectural Police during a search of his residence in Saitama City on Tuesday morning remains on the run, police have revealed, reports Nippon News Network (Oct. 20). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 21
A former top bureaucrat accused of murdering his socially reclusive son last year entered a plea of not guilty on the grounds of self-defense at the first hearing of his appeal trial Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 21
A man suspected of fatally stabbing a 30-year-old woman in a car in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday night, has been found dead in a hotel room in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, police said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Oct 21
A bear wandered into a large shopping center in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Monday morning and remained there all day until it was killed. (Japan Today)
Oct 21
The parents of 3-year-old and 1-year-old girls were given a suspended prison sentence Tuesday for leaving their daughters at home in Kagoshima while the couple stayed at a hotel for more than a week after receiving the government’s COVID-19 cash handout. (Japan Times)
Oct 20
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former staff member at a special needs facility who is suspected of repeatedly raping a disabled elementary school girl, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Oct. 17). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 20
Former Empress Michiko turned 86 on Tuesday, marking her birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic that has caused her to spend the majority of her time quietly at her residence in Tokyo. (Kyodo)
Oct 20
Maisa Tsuno, a member of popular Japanese rock band Akaiko-en, has died, the group's agency said Monday, with police suspecting suicide. (Kyodo)
Oct 20
A 30-year-old woman died after being found with multiple stab wounds inside a car in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday night. (Japan Today)
Oct 19
Ten members of the Shiki Theatre Company have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to the famed Japanese theatrical company. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
A black bear attacked four people ranging in age from their 50s to 90s and damaged a police car Friday in central Japan before being shot to death, police and other local authorities said. (Japan Today)
Oct 16
Tokyo Metropolitan Police are planning to accuse a deceased man of fatally stabbing his former girlfriend in Nakano Ward earlier this year, reports TBS News (Oct. 14). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 16
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested a 27-year-old man for allegedly kidnapping a girl he met online and holding her for five months, reports Kyodo News (Oct. 15). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 16
A man found in a pool of blood on a sidewalk in Chiba City on Wednesday later died, police said, reports Jiji Press (Oct. 15). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 15
A 24-year-old woman who was found murdered in her apartment in Kyoto City’s Shimogyo Ward earlier this week died two days before the discovery of her body, police have revealed, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Oct. 12). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 15
The National Ainu Museum and Park in Shiraoi Town in Hokkaido has observed a traditional ceremony to pay tribute to the ancestors of the indigenous Ainu people. (NHK)
Oct 14
Japan's top court has dismissed a claim by a non-regular worker that her employer should pay her bonuses. (NHK)