Japanese court upholds death sentence for insurance-related murders

The man was sentenced after the deaths of two firm executives in Manila in 2014 and 2015

Japanese court upholds death sentence for insurance-related murders

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

The Japanese Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence ruling for a man convicted of murdering two other Japanese men in Manila in 2014 and 2015, with both murders related to insurance payments.

Toshihiko Iwama, the 49-year-old convict, was sentenced to death by the Kofu District Court in 2017 for the two murders. The court has now rejected his appeal to have the ruling overturned, a decision which followed another judgement reaffirmation by the Tokyo High Court in 2019.

According to a report from Japan Times, Iwama conspired with accomplices to hire a hit man in the Philippines to kill Shinsuke Toba, 32, in 2014, and Tatsuya Nakamura, 42, in 2015. One of the accomplices is now serving a life sentence.

Both Toba and Nakamura, who were fatally shot in Manila, were executives of a firm in which Iwama was a large shareholder; their deaths would have resulted in large insurance payouts for the company. As per the high court ruling, the crime was viewed to be “highly likely “to be premeditated, “intended to ensure the victims were killed without the perpetrator doing it himself.”

Cases involving murder for insurance payments have happened in Japan before; in 2017, an elderly Japanese woman known as the “Black Widow” was sentenced to death for killing three of her lovers and collecting millions in insurance payouts and inheritance.

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