Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture
Her husband had been a shut-in at home for 17 years and decided to kill her, saying, “I can’t let my children take care of me.
When asked by the judge if he regretted his decision, he shook his head and said, “No.” ……
“I decided to kill my husband at around 9 o’clock on the day of the murder. My husband was asleep in his room, and I took the saw and got on his stomach. I held the handle of the saw with both hands and tried to cut his throat, but he resisted and a struggle ensued. After a while, there was a moment when my husband relaxed, and when I pulled the saw with both hands, his throat was cut. After that, I stayed in the same position until my husband stopped moving.
When the prosecutor read out the statement of Yoko Maru, 76, in courtroom 403 of the Yokohama District Court on September 9, the courtroom fell silent as if water had struck it. It was a scene from the first trial of the case in which Yoko slashed the neck of her husband Toshio, 83, with a saw and killed him in Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, in March this year.
The defendant, Yoko, and Hisao were married in 1969. From the beginning of their marriage, Hisao repeatedly refused to give his salary, drank alcohol and was violent. The couple divorced in 1998, but since there was no facility to take Hisao, who was dependent on alcohol, they remarried in 2005. For the next 17 years, Hisao withdrew to his home and Yoko continued to take care of him.
In December 2008, a shadow was found on Yoko’s lung. They had one son and one daughter, but the daughter was married and the son had a history of mental illness. Yoko thought about what would happen after her death and decided to commit the crime, saying, “I can’t let my children take care of me. After deciding to kill her husband, she made a test cut on a tree in the garden, as seen in the photo above.
The defendant then committed the crime on March 5. After the crime, the defendant wrote in her notebook, “March 5th, I killed Hisao, Banzai.
During the trial, Yoko always replied, “I can’t do it,” or “I don’t know,” when the judge and others spoke to her. However, when the presiding judge asked her if she regretted the crime, she shook her head,” said a reporter for a national newspaper.
The prosecutor’s office demanded 12 years in prison on the grounds that the crime was premeditated. The defense argued that there was room for extenuating circumstances and that a sentence of three years in prison, suspended for five years, was appropriate.
“I think it’s not unusual for people to have family problems and think, ‘It would be so much easier if he just died. The number of elderly people who think they don’t want to cause trouble for their children and end up committing similar crimes will increase in the future.
It’s not someone else’s problem.
From “FRIDAY” October 1, 2021 issue
Photo by： Takero Yuge