Ex-Morning-Musume idol Hitomi Yoshizawa gets suspended sentence for Tokyo drunk-driving hit-and-run
Japan Times -- Dec 01
Hitomi Yoshizawa, a former member of the all-girl J-pop group Morning Musume, was sentenced Friday to two years in prison suspended for five years for injuring two people in a hit-and-run incident in September while driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to the ruling handed down at the Tokyo District Court, Yoshizawa, 33, ran a red light at a speed of 86 kilometers per hour on the morning of Sept. 6 in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, and hit a female cyclist and then a male pedestrian before fleeing the scene.

"Heavy concentrations of alcohol were detected in the defendant … she left the site of the accident without stopping to help the victims. Her criminal responsibility is fairly grave," said Judge Takao Sato.

During the first hearing of the case, on Thursday, Yoshizawa's defense lawyer had called for a suspended sentence, arguing that the former singer has promised not to obtain a driver's license again even after the revocation period ends and that she and the two victims have already agreed to settle out of court.

Although the ruling handed down a suspended term as Yoshizawa's counsel had hoped, the court opted for a five-year suspension - the longest permitted under the law - on the grounds that the defendant needs time to "deepen her remorse" for her actions.

ひき逃げをしたなどの罪に問われた元「モーニング娘。」吉澤ひとみ被告の裁判で、東京地裁は懲役2年、執行猶予5年の有罪判決を言い渡した。この執行猶予の長さの意味について取材した。  元モーニング娘。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Feb 15
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 58-year-old woman who while nude portrayed an elderly woman on a pay-to-view site, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 14). (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 15
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have apprehended a man who is suspected of slashing another man and a woman at a railway station in Bunkyo ward on Thursday, reports NHK (Feb. 14). (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 10
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 20-year-old man over the fatal assault of a Thai woman inside a love hotel room in the Uguisudani area of Taito Ward last year, reports Kyodo News (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 09
A 20-year-old former policeman was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for shooting his boss to death at a police box in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, last April. (Japan Times)
Feb 09
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested two men who are accused of snatching a woman’s purse last year. They later used cash found inside to cover a taxi fare, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 8). (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 08
A 16-year-old female high student has been arrested for extorting a man she met while engaging in papakatsu — the practice of a sugar daddy paying young girls in exchange for having dinner and dates. (Japan Today)
Feb 07
The operator of one of Japan's largest sushi restaurant chains said Wednesday that video footage recently uploaded to the internet showed one of its part-time kitchen workers throwing sliced fish into a trash can and returning it to a cutting board at an outlet in Osaka Prefecture. (Kyodo)
Feb 06
The mother of a 10-year-old girl who died last month at their home in Chiba Prefecture has told police that she sometimes gave the girl no food, at her husband’s insistence, in the days before her daughter’s death, investigative sources said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Feb 06
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 56-year-old male employee of the Toshima Ward office over the alleged rape of a middle school girl last year, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 04
Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda's film, "Mirai," won the Annie Award for Best Animated Independent Feature in Los Angeles on Saturday. (NHK)