Hoshijima Takanori

Life sentence finalized for Tokyo man
convicted of murdering neighbor

September 25, 2009

A life sentence was finalized Friday for a man convicted of murdering a 23-year-old woman, who lived two doors down in a Tokyo apartment building, and mutilating her body last year. Neither the defense counsel of Takanori Hoshijima, 34, nor prosecutors had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court by the deadline of midnight Thursday.

The Tokyo High Court on Sept 10 upheld the sentence issued by the Tokyo District Court, rejecting prosecutors’ demand that Hoshijima be given a death sentence due to the cruelty of his crime. Although the defendant admitted to charges that he had intended to sexually assault Rurika Tojo and then murdered her, the focus of the trial had been on whether he would face the death penalty for killing one person.

Defendants convicted of murdering one person but who have no criminal record and whose crime is found not to have been financially motivated rarely face the death penalty in Japan.

Hoshijima was convicted of forcing Tojo into his apartment with the aim of sexually assaulting her on the night of April 18 last year and stabbing her to death with a kitchen knife.

He then mutilated her body with a saw and other tools, flushing some body parts down the toilet and dumping others.


Mutilation murder suspect asks court
to hang him without delay
January 27, 2008

Prosecutors demanded Monday that a 34-year-old man be hanged for murdering a 23-year-old woman and mutilating and dumping her body. ‘‘It was a brutal and cruel crime, and there is no possibility that the defendant will be rehabilitated,’’ they told the Tokyo District Court, seeking the death penalty for Takanori Hoshijima. ‘‘The defendant must pay for his crime with death.’’

Hoshijima told the court, ‘‘Please hang me without further delay.’’ He had pleaded guilty and said that he ‘‘intends to apologize by accepting the death penalty.’’ Hoshijima forced Rurika Tojo into his apartment with the aim of sexually assaulting her on the night of April 18 and stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife, the indictment said. Between April 19 and May 1, he mutilated the body, flushed some body parts down the toilet and dumped others in the apartment’s garbage space, according to the indictment.

The court will deliver its verdict on Feb 18.