Death-Row Inmate Dies after Choking

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Death-row inmate Miyuki Ueta, convicted of murdering two men whose bodies were found in Tottori Prefecture in 2009, has died, the Justice Ministry said Sunday.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Miyuki Ueta

Ueta, 49, a former bar employee, lost consciousness while eating a meal at the Hiroshima detention house in Hiroshima City on Saturday afternoon.

She was confirmed dead after she was sent to the hospital. Ueta died of suffocation, according to the ministry.

Following the death of Ueta, the number of death-row inmates detained at criminal facilities in Japan stands at 105.

Ueta choked while eating a meal around 4:20 p.m. Saturday and became unconscious. Staff at the detention house tried to remove food from her mouth and took other measures, but she was confirmed dead around 6:55 p.m. the same day, according to the ministry.

She had been on medication for multiple illnesses. Ueta was also transported to the hospital after collapsing during a meal on Tuesday.

In the 2009 incidents, the drowned bodies of two men were found in Tottori, and ingredients of sleep-inducing drugs were detected from both bodies. Ueta, who had money issues with the two men, was arrested by the Tottori prefectural police department.