Two Japanese death row inmates executed over 1988 robbery-murders of Cosmo Research president and employee
Japan Times -- Dec 28
Two death row inmates who killed a company president and an employee at the firm were hanged Thursday morning in Osaka, the Justice Ministry said, bringing the number of executions in the country this year to 15.

The executions were the first carried out since 13 former members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult were hanged in July and the first ordered by Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita.

The two convicts were 60-year-old Keizo Okamoto, an ex-yakuza, and Hiroya Suemori, 67, a former investment adviser. They were hanged at the Osaka Detention Center.

They were both sentenced to death in September 2004 for fraud, kidnapping and murdering a president and worker of an investment company, as well as orchestrating another scam targeting a brokerage firm.

The two were convicted of kidnapping and strangling 43-year-old Kazuo Kengaku, the president of investment firm Cosmo Research Corp., in an apartment building in Osaka on Jan. 29, 1988, after robbing him of some ¥100 million in cash.

On the same day, they murdered Hiroyuki Watanabe, a 23-year-old employee of the investment firm. Watanabe had earlier been tricked into giving the two killers information about Kengaku’s whereabouts. To conceal the heinous crime, Okamoto and Suemori buried the two bodies in concrete and dumped them in a mountainous area of Kyoto Prefecture.

Okamoto and Suemori also took stocks worth ¥140 million from a brokerage firm and both were found to be illegally in possession of guns.

News source: Japan Times
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