The Kobe District Court on Wednesday dismissed a case in which a former deputy police chief was indicted on suspicion of failing to prevent a fatal crush on a pedestrian overpass in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, in July 2001, because the statute of limitations had run out.
Kazuaki Sakaki had been suspected of professional negligence causing injury and death over the accident in which 11 people died and 183 were injured.
The accident occurred when too many people who had come to watch a fireworks show held by the Akashi municipal government near the beach crammed onto a pedestrian bridge.
A prosecution inquest committee had decided on the mandatory indictment of Sakaki, a former deputy chief at Akashi Police Station. However, presiding Judge Tetsuya Okuda said there was no negligence to recognize and the statute of limitations had expired before the mandatory indictment, effectively acquitting Sakaki.
A former Bridgestone Corp. (5108) executive agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for auto parts, a day after a grand jury indicted another executive and two former workers at the Japanese tire maker. (Bloomberg )
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Apparently perplexed but thrilled to find himself in the spotlight, Iwao Hakamada, formerly the world's longest-serving death-row inmate, made his first public appearance Monday in Tokyo since being released from prison and hospitalized. (Japan Times )
Aichi prefectural police are investigating a possible link between the discovery of the bodies of a husband and wife and their eldest son, and the body of a male relative of the deceased family who was found hanging by his neck in a hotel. (Japan Today )
The body of one of two missing workers who died on March 30 after a floating pier overturned while being unloaded from a barge during construction work on a remote rocky atoll, was found on Sunday, the coast guard said. (Japan Today )