Kozo Iizuka, the former director of the Industrial Technology Agency of the former Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), who was convicted in a runaway accident in Ikebukuro, has decided not to appeal. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment in the first trial (seven years in prison required).
In April 2007, Mana Matsunaga (then 31) and her daughter Riko (then 3) were killed in an accident in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, and Mr. Iizuka was charged with violating the Automobile Operation Punishment Law (manslaughter). However, he was accused of being a “senior citizen,” meaning a privileged class, on the Internet for avoiding arrest with physical restraint.
Mr. Iizuka’s claim has consistently been that the Toyota Prius he was driving had a vehicle malfunction and “sped up on its own. In response, the prosecution examined the car involved in the accident and found no serious defects, declaring it to be a “misstep of the gas pedal and brake.
At the sentencing hearing held at the Tokyo District Court on September 2, Mr. Iizuka pleaded not guilty. Judge Kenji Shimotsu handed down a sentence of five years imprisonment. The sentence he was seeking was seven years, but the judge ruled.
“The negligence was malicious, but it was not caused by drunk driving or any other driving behavior.
The judge ruled that, although the negligence was malicious, it was not associated with driving behavior such as drunk driving. Mr. Iizuka, who has stubbornly maintained his innocence, had been discussing the possibility of an appeal, but on the 15th, he decided to accept the verdict.
As a result, Mr. Iizuka, at the age of 90, will be imprisoned…or so we thought, but here we are again in a situation where criticism of the “senior citizens” is flying around.
The reason is that he is too old to walk on his own. The reason is that he is too old to walk on his own, and that he suffers from a designated intractable disease.
The argument is based on Article 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Article 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states the conditions for suspending the execution of a sentence
“The conditions for suspension of execution of the sentence are: “If the execution of the sentence will seriously damage the health or there is a risk that the life of the person will not be maintained,” “If the person is 70 years of age or older,” and “If 60 days have not passed since the birth of the child.
Iizuka falls into these categories.
“There is a possibility that Mr. Iizuka falls into this category. Immediately after the accident, he was able to walk with a cane, but at the trial, he was in a wheelchair. Since his physical weakness can be confirmed, he will not be able to live properly even if he is imprisoned. From now on, there will be a lot of interest in whether the prosecutor decides to suspend the execution of the punishment.
People tend to think of prisons as torture chambers and hope for “retribution” against Mr. Iizuka. However, according to a former prisoner
According to a former prisoner, “Prisons make you live a regular life. It also involves group activities. I have never seen a person like Mr. Iizuka who is over 90 years old being imprisoned. I don’t think I would be able to keep up with them even if I did.
He said. The prosecutors are likely to ask for jail time because they are concerned about the public’s perception of them, but many believe that it will be difficult considering the “reality.
However, this does not mean that Mr. Iizuka is unharmed. Mr. Iizuka was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star in 2003. This is one of the reasons why he is called a “senior citizen,” but according to an imperial decree enacted in the Meiji era called the “Order for Changing Orders (Chidatsu),” if a person is sentenced to three years or more of imprisonment, the order will be revoked. In other words, he would lose the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Rays.
“For Mr. Iizuka, the Medal of Honor is a testament to the work he has done. I’m sure he never imagined that his illustrious career would be ruined in his later years.
Even if he had admitted his guilt from the beginning and apologized to the bereaved family, it is highly likely that he would have been sentenced to prison and would have been deprived of the Order of Merit.
“His life has also changed dramatically. After the accident, he and his wife stopped going out. We were chased by the media, and there were even loud street protesters in our neighborhood. I think there is a part of him that feels he is in danger,” said a neighbor.
Mr. Iizuka is said to have apologized to the bereaved family through a concerned party, saying, “I feel really sorry for them.
Photo： Kyodo News