Tokyo court sentenced a former senior government official to six years in prison on Monday for fatally stabbing his socially reclusive son with a kitchen knife. The defence lawyers have argued that his son was suffering from a mental disorder and was killed in self-defence by the minister.
The Tokyo District Court found Hideaki Kumazawa, 76, a former vice-minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, guilty of repeatedly stabbing his son Eiichiro, then 44, in the neck and chest at his home in Tokyo in June. Kumazawa immediately called the police and admitted to the killing. He pleaded guilty to the crime during the trial and was sentenced to six years in prison.
In the closing court session on Friday, Kumazawa said that it is his duty to pay for the crime and pray for his son so he can pave a peaceful time in his afterlife. His son who died from a massive blood loss had developed a mental disorder and was routinely violent toward his mother. He was initially, removed from his parents and lived alone in an apartment until he returned home a week before the killings. In its ruling, the court said that the son resumed his violence as soon as he returned home and threatened to kill his father.
Judge Tomoyuki Nakayama said the son’s body had more than 30 stab wounds, including some that were very deep, indicating that the killing was not purely self-defence. They also asked for a suspended term for him and added that Kumazawa feared his son might harm others like a social recluse — known in Japan as “hikikomori” — who stabbed a number of schoolchildren at a bus stop outside Tokyo, killing two people and wounding 17 others, before killing himself. Though the prosecutors sought an eight-year prison term, the court ruled that he deserved a six-year term, taking into consideration his effort to improve his family’s relations with the son, the violence inflicted by his son and the threat of being killed.