From NHK World
December 16th 2019
A former top bureaucrat at Japan’s agriculture ministry has been sentenced to six years in prison for murdering his violent son.
The Tokyo District Court on Monday handed down the term on 76-year-old Hideaki Kumazawa for fatally stabbing his son Eiichiro at their home in June. The former vice agriculture minister had pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors had demanded an eight-year prison term while defense lawyers requested a suspended sentence.
Kumazawa said that he stabbed his 44-year-old son out of fear for his own life, but pesiding judge Tomoyuki Nakayama said his claim lacked credibility.
Nakayama said the defendant attacked when the victim could not put up resistance, showing strong intent to take his son’s life.
The judge criticized Kumazawa for not going to his son’s doctor or the police for help, and deciding to kill his son just one week after he returned to live with his parents.
But the judge acknowledged Kumazawa had previously met his son’s doctor and delivered medication for his son’s development disorder and made efforts to build a stable father-and-son relationship.
Nakayama said there was no doubting Kumazawa felt fear when his son assaulted him immediately after returning to live with him and worried about how to deal with him, and this should be taken into account.
The judge concluded that a suspended prison term is not appropriate for people convicted of killing their offspring, but Kumazawa should not be given a lengthy sentence.