The defendant, Tsuyoshi Sato (44), smiles at the camera with a big smile. The defendant, Tsuyoshi Sato, 44, is piloting a pleasure boat at a speed of over 100 kilometers per hour, bouncing off the bow. What is surprising is that this photo (below) was taken in July of this year, after the defendant had a serious accident.
On September 6, 2008, Eita Toyoda (8 years old at the time), who was playing at Lake Inawashiro in Fukushima Prefecture, was caught in a pleasure boat driven by the defendant Sato and killed. His mother, who was nearby, was severely injured, her leg amputated, but the boat drove away without rescuing the two.
The police investigated for a year, and on September 14, Sato, the president of a civil engineering company living in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and was indicted on October 1. In the October 8 issue of this magazine, we reported that Sato had been living the life of a celebrity with no signs of remorse even after the accident, but there were more “bad deeds” to come.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, after the boat that caused the accident was confiscated, Sato moved his other boat from Lake Inawashiro to Lake Biwa (Shiga Prefecture), where he was running his pleasure boat at speeds of over 100 km/h. A male acquaintance of the defendant, who was riding in the boat on Lake Biwa, testified to this magazine, saying, “If it helps the victim, ……
“I met Mr. Sato through an acquaintance around June of this year, after the accident. We met only a few times, but in July, he invited me to a BBQ. He seemed to be coming to Lake Biwa quite often.
On that day, we had a BBQ with about 10 people, including Mr. Sato’s wife and two children and the family of the president, whom I knew, and then we took a boat ride. To be honest, I was scared because I was driving at a speed of 100 km per hour, but I was looking back and driving blindly. I didn’t realize that I had already run over and killed a child when I got there. …… To be able to enjoy boating with a smile on your face is not a normal feeling.
In his hometown of Fukushima, the defendant ran a company that dispatched workers to build scaffolding for construction sites, called Sato Goken. He laughed off the suicide of an employee at the construction site and did not attend the funeral, and many employees had been dissatisfied with the president’s attitude and management policy. After Sato’s arrest, it seems that a number of employees wanted to leave the company. Mr. A, a current employee, describes his current workplace.
“We are a company with about 20 employees. Three days after the president was arrested, his father became the representative director, and there has been no explanation since then. Naturally, more and more work has been cancelled. In fact, I suddenly lost a project that I was in charge of. We are in the position of subcontractors, but it seems that the main contractor does not want to place orders with us. If things continue like this, we will go bankrupt.
While the defendant was living a life of celebrity, he repeatedly treated his employees unfairly. Mr. B, a former employee of the company, says that the treatment of foreign workers was particularly harsh.
“Sato Goken has a branch office in Myanmar. We had about 20 technical trainees from Myanmar, but they all quit, complaining that the daily wage was cheaper than at a convenience store. They were forced to work without pay even on holidays, and I really felt sorry for them. We were left to do our own work. The president spent most of his time in Tokyo, living a life of luxury and indulgence. Every time I saw him on social media, I felt frustrated. He is a person who cares most about himself and his money.
More than a year after the incident, the accident was finally brought to court. Eidai’s parents released a comment saying, “The criminal trial will now begin, and we hope that the defendant will sincerely face the regret of Eidai and our bereaved family. However, even after his arrest, Sato has denied the charges, saying he has no recollection of the incident.
“The investigating authorities have video of the passenger and witnesses from the day of the accident, and are taking a strong stance. Even if he denies the charges, I don’t think he will be acquitted. At the time of the accident, the boat was only going 15 to 20 kilometers per hour. If it had collided with a person, he would have surely noticed it. Since there was no rescue under those circumstances, I would say that the case is highly malicious. The point of contention now is how severe the prosecutors will be in punishing Sato.
I hope that the bereaved family’s regret will be lifted.
From“ FRIDAY “ October 22-29, 2021issue
PHOTO： Kazuhiko Nakamura (4th photo)