Posted by debito on February 26th, 2008
We usually hear about the crimes NJ commit in Japan. Very rarely about crimes committed by Japanese abroad, when we are the foreigners. Even more interesting is where a murder is committed and blamed on “foreign crime” overseas, namely the Americans and their society allegedly riddled with random crime.
Then we have the case of Miura Kazuyoshi. As you can see by the details below, we had a person convicted of killing his wife in a lower Japanese court unusually vindicated by a higher court. Then the guy gets arrested in US territory (which avoids double jeopardy) for the same crime nearly 25 years later. Wouldn’t it be yet another black eye for the Japanese judiciary if the US convicts him instead? We won’t know for a little while (but it will take definitely less time than the Japanese judiciary; hey, it took Miura four years for his High Court verdict, and Asahara has been on trial for more than a decade now…), but it should be interesting.
As an aside, crooked Dietmember Suzuki Muneo just got put away yet again today after his case was on appeal for close to four years too (in the interim he forms his own party and gets reelected; Hokkaido no haji!). About time. Still, he didn’t kill anybody. Couldn’t blame his corruption on foreigners, I guess.
Is Miura the Japanese O.J. Simpson or what? Instead of using the race card, he uses the “foreign crime” card… Debito in Sapporo
Japan interviews arrested businessman
By THOMAS WATKINS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Feb 24, 5:58 PM ET
Courtesy Chad Edwards, Tony Kehoe, and Erich Meatleg
LOS ANGELES – Japanese officials on Sunday interviewed a businessman from their country who was arrested in a U.S. territory on suspicion of killing his wife a quarter-century ago in a Los Angeles parking lot.
Kazuyoshi Miura was apprehended by U.S. authorities late Friday as he tried to pass through immigration control at Saipan’s airport to take a flight home, said Toshihide Kawasaki, a Foreign Ministry official in charge of Japanese citizens overseas. Japanese consular officials later talked to him at a Saipan detention center.
“He seemed in good health, and was receiving a fair treatment,” said Kenji Yoshida, one of the two Japanese consuls in Saipan.
“We talked about an hour, but not so much about his past crimes,” Yoshida said. “Naturally, he expressed hopes to see his family, and was very anxious to know what may happen to him.”
Miura, 60, had already been convicted in Japan in 1994 of the murder of his wife, Kazumi Miura, but that verdict was overturned by the country’s high courts 10 years ago. The 1981 shooting caused an international uproar, in part because he blamed the attack on robbers, reinforcing Japanese perceptions of America as violent.
“Why now?” Japan’s Mainichi newspaper asked in a headline. “His turbulent life entered a new phase.”
The LAPD said Miura was awaiting extradition, and details on the arrest were not made available.
“I think U.S. investigators have all along believed that they can make the case with the evidence they had already collected,” Tsutomu Sakaguchi, a Tokyo Metropolitan Police investigator at the time of the shooting, told TV Asahi in an interview Sunday. “If they have a new evidence, that could be a decisive step.”
Miura’s attorney, Junichiro Hironaka, has said the latest arrest is astonishing.
Miura, a clothing importer, and his 28-year-old wife were visiting Los Angeles on Nov. 18, 1981, when they were shot in a downtown parking lot. She was shot in the head, went into a coma and died the following year in Japan.
Her mother said Sunday that she never gave up hope that the case would be resolved.
“I burned incense for my daughter and prayed at a family Buddhist altar, telling her that Americans will put an end to the case, so let’s hold onto our hopes and wait,” Yasuko Sasaki told Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.
Miura reportedly collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from life insurance policies he had taken out on his wife. In addition, an actress who claimed to be Miura’s lover told a newspaper that Miura had hired her to kill his wife in their hotel room on a trip to Los Angeles three months before the shootings.
Miura was arrested in Japan in 1985 on suspicion of assaulting his wife in the hotel incident. He was convicted of attempted murder and while serving a six-year sentence was charged under Japanese law in 1988 with his wife’s murder.
Miura was convicted of that charge in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison. Four years later, a Japanese court overturned the sentence.
Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.