Tokyo High Court Decides to Reopen 1966 Murder Case

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Tokyo High Court

Tokyo, March 13 (Jiji Press)—Tokyo High Court decided on Monday to hold a retrial for an 87-year-old man over the 1966 multiple murder case in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.

The high court decision came after the Supreme Court in December 2020 scrapped the high court’s previous decision to reject the retrial plea and sent the matter back to the high court.

The man, Iwao Hakamata, had been sentenced to death over the murder case. But in 2014, Shizuoka District Court issued a ruling to reopen the case, and Hakamata was released. The ruling was later overturned by the high court.

In 1966, four members of the family of a senior official of a miso company in Shizuoka were murdered, and their house was set on fire. Hakamata was an employee of the company.

On Monday, the high court, presided over by Judge Fumio Daizen, raised doubts about five pieces of clothing that Hakamata is believed to have been wearing at the scene.

The judge said that reasonable questions obviously arise in the findings of the final verdict for Hakamata.