Kobayashi Ryuji

Man appeals to Supreme Court over death sentence for burying two alive

Wednesday June 4th, 2008


A 23-year-old man who was sentenced to death for killing two people by burying them alive in 2006 has appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, his defense counsel said Tuesday.

The Osaka High Court ruled on May 20 that Ryuji Kobayashi played a leading role in the gang beating and murder of the two victims, who had been in dispute with his friend, at a garbage dump in Okayama Prefecture in June 2006. The high court rejected the argument of Kobayashi’s defense that it is possible to rehabilitate him under proper correction programs.


23-year-old Osaka man to hang for burying two people alive
Tuesday 20th May, 03:02 PM JST


The Osaka High Court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence against a 23-year-old man accused of killing two people by burying them alive. Ryuji Kobayashi played a leading role in a gang-bashing of the two victims, who had a dispute with his friend, and murdering them at a garbage dump in June 2006 in Okayama Prefecture, according to the ruling. Presiding Judge Masaki Wakahara said the crime was committed ‘‘in a cold manner,’’ rejecting the defense’s argument that Kobayashi could be rehabilitated. Seven other people were indicted over the incident.


Man sentenced to hang for burying victims alive
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

OSAKA (Kyodo) A 22-year-old unemployed man was sentenced Tuesday to death for murdering a university student and another man by burying them alive.

Ryuji Kobayashi
Ryuji Kobayashi admitted to assaulting and killing the two but denied allegations he robbed them as well.

Presiding Judge Makoto Wada of the Osaka District Court denounced the crime by Kobayashi and his accomplices as "heartless and merciless" and told the accused, "You have to take responsibility."

Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty.

Police examine an industrial waste site where the bodies of Shoji Fujimoto and Tetsuya Iwagami were found buried last June 27.
According to the ruling, Kobayashi, along with several of his friends, assaulted university student Shoji Fujimoto, 21, and Tetsuya Iwagami, a 21-year-old unemployed man, last June. The two victims ran afoul of Kobayashi's childhood friend Yuki Sato over a woman. Sato is also being tried for murder in the case.

Kobayashi and the others beat the two with golf clubs and other weapons, and then killed them by burying them alive at a waste disposable site in the city of Okayama. They also robbed the victims of about 100,000 yen.

A total of eight people were indicted over the murders. Of these, a 17-year-old unemployed man has been given 15 years in prison.

Judge Wada condemned Kobayashi for "treating the victims as if they were objects and burying them alive," and said his acts "can never been forgiven as a human being."
Kobayashi's lawyers had argued that he did not have complete command of the people who assaulted and killed the victims. But Wada said that were it not for Kobayashi "the victims would not have been murdered," ruling he bears a grave responsibility for taking a leading role in carrying out the murders.

Wada said the court "acknowledges that the crime stemmed from (Kobayashi's) immature personality and there is a possibility of rehabilitation. But a harsh stance needs to be taken on the unforgivable crime of disdaining human lives, and to prevent crimes from recurring."

After the ruling, a lawyer for Kobayashi said, "I cannot accept the fact that the death penalty was issued while it was acknowledged that there is a possibility for rehabilitation."

The Japan Times: Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Leader of group who buried victims alive gets death sentence

(Note: accomplices received lesser sentences..see article below)


Ryuji Kobayashi

OSAKA -- A 22-year-old man who masterminded a brutal group killing in which two victims died after being buried alive was sentenced to death in a ruling at the Osaka District Court on Tuesday.

Sentenced to death was 22-year-old unemployed man Ryuji Kobayashi. In handing down the ultimate penalty, Presiding Judge Makoto Wada blasted Kobayashi's actions.
"The crime brought serious consequences of claiming the lives of two young people, and the process that led to the crime and its form were exceedingly cruel," the judge said.

According to the ruling, Kobayashi participated in the killing after being approached by another suspect, Yuki Sato, over trouble that erupted with the two victims, Shoji Fujimoto, 21, a fourth-year student at Higashiosaka College, and Tetsuya Iwagami, a 21-year-old unemployed man.

Kobayashi called the two victims to an area of Okayama in June this year and viciously beat them. After snatching their wallets, he helped bury the two alive in a yard for building materials.
Sato was also charged over the killing, and public prosecutors have demanded that he be jailed for 18 years.

During his trial, Kobayashi admitted to the charge of murder, but denied another charge of robbery, saying that he did not intend to steal money from the victims. However, the presiding judge ruled that Kobayashi was guilty of robbery, and added, "The brutal nature of the defendant's vicious, one-sided assault is obvious."

A total of eight people including Kobayashi were charged with crimes including murder in the wake of the killing. One 17-year-old youth who used an excavator to dig a hole and cover the two victims with dirt was sentenced to 15 years behind bars in a ruling on May 11.

Public prosecutors had demanded the death sentence for Kobayashi, saying that he had masterminded the crime and that there was little hope he would turn over a new leaf.

"It was something unthinkable for a human. There is little hope of him turning over a new leaf, and although he is young, there is no option but for him to face the death penalty," a representative prosecutor said.

Lawyers for Kobayashi had told the court that his responsibility for the crime was heavy, but added, "He deeply regrets his actions and there are hopes that he will mend his ways." (Mainichi)


Man, 22, sentenced to death for burying two men alive
The Asahi Shimbun

OSAKA--The 22-year-old ringleader of a group that buried alive two men last June in a fight over a woman and money was sentenced to death Tuesday.

The Osaka District Court ruled that Ryuji Kobayashi, unemployed, was responsible for the deaths of Shoji Fujimoto, a fourth-year student at Higashiosaka College, and Tetsuya Iwagami, unemployed.

The victims were both 21 years old when they were killed.

"It may be possible for him to show remorse and be rehabilitated, but regarding the mercilessness and cruelty of the crime and the gravity of the results, I have no choice other than to give the ultimate penalty," Presiding Judge Makoto Wada said.

According to the ruling, Kobayashi and eight others, currently on trial for murder and other charges, attacked Fujimoto and Iwagami and took them to an industrial site in Okayama on June 19, 2006.

They buried alive Fujimoto that day and did the same to Iwagami the following day.

The crime stemmed from a fight in June last year between another suspect, Yuta Tokumitsu, and Fujimoto over a woman he was dating.

Tokumitsu later claimed he was assaulted by Fujimoto, Iwagami and others, and said the pair demanded payment of 500,000 yen ($4,116).

Tokumitsu sought the help of Kobayashi and others, and the group assaulted Fujimoto and Iwagami and took them to the industrial park. Kobayashi, believing the two had yakuza connections, decided to kill the pair, according to investigative sources.

Kobayashi had basically admitted to the allegations. His attorneys, however, asked the court for leniency, saying he is still young enough to be rehabilitated.

After the trial, the defense team said the death sentence was inappropriate given that the court had suggested that rehabilitating Kobayashi was possible.

Eight others, including minors, have been indicted in the case. Of them, a 17-year-old boy, who was 16 at the time of the crime, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Osaka District Court earlier this month. (IHT/Asahi: May 22,2007)


Trio get 7-9 years for burying college student alive in dispute over woman

Friday, June 1, 2007 at 07:57 EDT

OSAKA — The Osaka District Court on Thursday sentenced two 22-year-old men to nine years in prison and another 22-year-old man to seven years for murdering a college student by burying him alive after assaulting him and another man in Okayama Prefecture last year. Yuki Sato, a former student at Higashiosaka College in Osaka Prefecture, and Yuta Tokumitsu, unemployed, were given nine years, while Hiroshi Sayama, also unemployed, was sentenced to seven years.

According to the ruling, the three defendants, in collusion with Sato's friend Ryuji Kobayashi, 22, and others, unleashed a gang beating on Shoji Fujimoto and Tetsuya Iwagami in June 2006 after luring them out to Okayama Prefecture in a dispute over a woman. They then killed Fujimoto, who was a 21-year-old student at Higashiosaka College, by burying him alive at a waste disposal site in the city of Okayama.

Kobayashi as the key offender in the crime has already been sentenced to death. A total of eight people have been indicted over the incident, including
a 17-year-old boy who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. (Kyodo News)


Man sentenced to death for burying two alive
in dispute over woman in Okayama in 2006

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 12:53 EDT OSAKA — The Osaka District Court on Tuesday sentenced to death a 22-year-old unemployed man for murdering a university student and another man by burying them alive in the city of Okayama in June 2006.

According to the ruling, Ryuji Kobayashi, along with several other friends, assaulted university student Shoji Fujimoto, 21, and Tetsuya Iwagami, a 21-year-old unemployed man, in June 2006 in a dispute over a woman. Kobayashi killed the two by burying them alive at a waste disposable site in Okayama and robbed them of about 100,000 yen, it said. A total of eight people were indicted over the murders. (Kyodo News)


Suspect in assault admits two slayings
The Japan Times: Monday, June 26, 2006

OSAKA (Kyodo) A 21-year-old man was arrested Sunday in connection with the abduction of three Osaka men, two of whom are missing and believed dead, the police said.

A group of around 10 people led by the suspect, Ryuji Kobayashi, allegedly had the three, all aged 21, come to the city of Okayama in the early hours of June 19 and abducted them. They also took the victims' car. They beat them up, first in the city and then near a funeral hall in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture, before releasing one of them, according to police.

The case came to light Thursday after the man who was released contacted the police. One of the suspects is believed to have had a dispute with one of the missing men over a woman, according to investigators.

Kobayashi turned himself in early Sunday at a police station in Tamano, accompanied by his mother, after the police placed him on a wanted list on suspicion of assault.

Police believe the two missing men were killed after being abducted and taken to an industrial waste disposal site in Okayama.

According to the police, Kobayashi called his mother Friday night and told her that he killed the two, while three other suspects arrested Saturday in connection with the case -- all 21-year-old males -- were quoted as telling investigators they saw Kobayashi bury the victims.

According to investigators, Kobayashi allegedly told his mother that the missing men said they were gangsters, and he killed them out of fear for his own life if he let them go.

The police are considering obtaining a murder warrant for him.

The other three suspects said they followed Kobayashi's orders because were afraid he would come after them if they refused to obey his instructions to beat up the victims and stand watch during the assault. Police identified them as Yuta Tokumitsu of the city of Osaka, university student Yuki Sato of Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, and a man from the city of Nara who was ordered to stand watch.
The Japan Times: Monday, June 26, 2006






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