List of major crimes in Japan

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This is a list of documented major crimes in Japan.

Date Name Deaths Location Summary
1893 Kawachi Jūningiri 13 Osaka Kumataro Kido and Yagoro Tani murdered ten people including an infant. The homicide was motivated by grudges against the victims. They committed suicide after the murders.
1923–1924 Sataro Fukiage 6? Kantō and Chūbu Serial killer Sataro Fukiage raped and murdered six girls. He also raped and murdered a girl in 1906. Exact victim estimates are unknown but one theory puts the number at 93 while another put it at more than 100. Fukiage was executed in 1926.
1925 Aoyama-kai / Mitani-kumi gang war 3+ near Yokohama In one of the largest battles between Yakuza groups, members of the Aoyama-kai and around thirty gangs led by the Mitani-kumi are involved in a dispute over a construction contract for Tokyo Denryoku Construction in Kanagawa. Aoyama-kai is a subcontractor of Shimizu-gumi and Shimizu-gumi is losing trust due to Hazama-gumi's obstruction, which is regarded as Mitani-kumi's instruction. After six hours of fighting, reports between 600 to 2,000 gangsters are involved with weapons including rifles, pistols, swords and farm implements. The Tokyo police and the Kempei-Tai were called in after the Kawasaki police became unable to handle the situation and, although Japanese officials declared martial law, fighting did not end until a cannon was brought in by the Aoyama-gumi. The battle injured over 150 people and killed at least three.
1936 Sada Abe 1 Tokyo Sada Abe and Kichizo Ishida (her lover) engaged in Erotic asphyxiation resulting in his death. When he died she then cut off his penis and testicles and carried them around with her in a handbag. Because her way of killing him was erotic, her crime gave inspiration to Japanese films, such as Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses.
1938 Tsuyama massacre 31 rural hamlets near Tsuyama, Okayama After cutting off electricity to his village, 21-year-old Mutsuo Toi proceeded to go on a late-night killing spree with a hunting rifle, sword, and axe before killing himself.
1941–1942 Hamamatsu serial murders 9-11 near Hamamatsu, Shizuoka A deaf boy Seisaku Nakamura murders people in Shizuoka. He attempts to rape women and murder his family. He is arrested for nine murders in 1942. He admits two other murders. He is sentenced to death.
1944-1948 Kotobuki maternity hospital incident 103? Tokyo A hospital director Miyuki Ishikawa fatally neglects about a hundred babies. There are accomplices and the Shinjuku ward office is suspected of giving approval for the murders.
1945-1946 Yoshio Kodaira 7-10 Tokyo, Tochigi Japanese ex-soldier Yoshio Kodaira rapes and murders ten women. In China, he murders Chinese soldiers as a soldier. He also kill his father-in-law in 1932. Kodaira is executed in 1949.
1948 Teigin Bank robbery 12 Shiina, Toshima, Tokyo Sixteen employees of a Teigin Bank branch are poisoned by cyanide after taking chemicals given to them by a man claiming to be from the health authorities who claimed they were medication to control a nearby dysentery outbreak. The man then stole 160,000 yen before making his escape. Twelve people died. Sadamichi Hirasawa, a painter, was arrested several months later. Although sentenced to death, there were strong suspicions that he was wrongfully convicted, and successive Justice Ministers refused to sign his death warrant, resulting in a stay of execution. During his 33-year imprisonment he wrote his autobiography and died of natural causes in 1987.

(Alluded to in Ian Fleming's novel You Only Live Twice: "And down went the honourable medicine and down fell the honourable local manager and staff of the Imperial Bank of Japan. The medicine had been neat cyanide.")

1948-1952 Osen Korogashi incident 8 Chiba, Shizuoka, Tochigi Serial killer Genzo Kurita murders eight people. He commits necrophilia with several victims and murders a family at the cliff called Osen Korogashi. He is executed in 1959.
1960 The assassination of Inejiro Asanuma 1 Hibiya, Tokyo The head of the Japan Socialist Party is stabbed to death by a 17-year old right-wing extremist Otoya Yamaguchi at a televised rally.
1963 Murder of Yoshinobu Murakoshi 1 Taito, Tokyo 4 year-old Yoshinobu Murakoshi fails to come home from a local park; several days later his family receives a phone call demanding ransom. Police fail to apprehend the person who collected the ransom, and the case generated massive publicity. Two years later they identified Tamotsu Obara as the kidnapper, who admitted under questioning to have murdered the child.
1963-1964 Akira Nishiguchi 5 through Japan Serial killer Akira Nishiguchi cheats people, escapes from police officers in Japan, and kills five people. He is executed in 1970. His crimes became the basis for a book by Ryuzo Saki and the Shohei Imamura film Vengeance Is Mine.
1965 Zama and Shibuya shootings 1 Kanagawa Prefecture, Tokyo 18-year old Misao Katagiri goes on a rampage with a rifle. He shoots two police officers in Zama city, Kanagawa prefecture then hijacks several cars. A gun battle between the gunman and hundreds of special police ensues at a gun store in Shibuya, Tokyo. He is suppressed by police and sentenced to death.
1968 Norio Nagayama's robbery spree 4 Tokyo, Kyoto, Hakodate, Nagoya A series of high-profile robberies in which 19-year old Norio Nagayama robs people for their money after killing them with a handgun stolen from the US military. After controversial trials, the Supreme Court upholds Nagayama's death in 1990. He is executed in 1997.
1968 300 million yen robbery - Fuchū, Tokyo Disguised as a police officer, an unidentified man stops a security van belonging to the Toshiba Corporation near Tokyo's Fuchu Prison and, in the guise conducting a bomb search, hijacks the van successfully escaping with almost 300 million yen. Despite a massive investigation into what would become the largest robbery in Japanese history, neither the man or the money are ever found.
1968 Tochigi patricide case 1 Tochigi Chiyo Aizawa murders her own father. She is an incest victim of her father. In 1973, the supreme court of Japan sentences her to a suspended sentence, saying that the article 200 of penal code is a breach of Japanese constitution. Her sentence becomes the first unconstitutional judgment for the supreme court.
1970 Inland Sea ferry hijacking 1 Hiroshima and the Inland Sea An armed 20-year old escaping police hijacks a ferry and takes the crew and passengers hostage. He is shot dead by a police sniper the following morning.
1971 Kiyoshi Okubo 8 Gunma Prefecture Serial killer Kiyoshi Okubo rapes and murders eight women during 41 days. Okubo is sentenced to death in 1973 and is executed in 1976.
1971-1972 Purge incident 12 Gunma prefecture The United Red Army torture and murder their twelve members in base camps. They call the murders "purification". The incident comes to light after the Asama-Sanso incident.
1972 Asama-Sanso incident 2 Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture 5 armed left-wing militants of the United Red Army hold up in a mountainside holiday lodge, taking one hostage. Amidst live TV coverage, police storm the lodge after a ten-day standoff, resulting in the deaths of two policemen.
1973 Kidnapping of Kim Dae-Jung - Chiyoda, Tokyo South Korean dissident Kim Dae-Jung, later to be president, is kidnapped from his hotel room in Tokyo by KCIA agents and taken to South Korea.
1979 Mitsubishi Bank sporting gun kidnapping 5 Osaka Akiyoshi Umekawa shoot dead four people in a Mitsubishi Bank. His motivation is probably robbery at first, but he takes about 40 hostages and does something he wants. Osaka police shoot dead him two days later.
1980 Shinjuku bus attack 6 Shinjuku, Tokyo A mentally disturbed man throws a bucket of petrol and a lit newspaper into a bus. The ensuing fire killed 6 and injured 14. He kills himself in 1997.
1982 Japan Airlines Flight 350 24 Tokyo Bay A mentally disturbed Captain Seiji Katagiri forces the Japan Airlines Flight 350 to crash. 24 passengers are killed by the crash. He is arrested on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in deaths, but he isn't indicted due to his insanity.
1983 Kiyotaka Katsuta 8-22 Kansai and Chūbu Kiyotaka Katsuta is arrested for a robbery-murder. However he is suspected of a total of 22 murders later, and he admits eight murders. Katsuta is executed in 2000.
1984 Glico Morinaga case - Various, across Kansai A 17-month long series of extortion against confectionery companies starting in a kidnap of the president of Glico and involving confectionery spiked with cyanide.
1985-1989 Yama-Ichi War 29 Kansai region A Yakuza gang war between the Yamaguchi-gumi and the breakaway Ichiwa-kai faction that began over the death of kumicho Kazuo Taoka. After being passed over as kumicho, Hiroshi Yamamoto broke away from the Yamaguchi-gumi, formed the rival Ichiwa-kai, and had Taoko's successor, Masahisa Takenaka, murdered, along with two other Yamaguchi members. Following the assassination, Yamaguchi-gumi boss Kazuo Nakanishi vows to wipe out the Ichiwa-kai. During the next few years, the two gangs would engage in an estimated 200 gun battles, killing 26 gangsters and seriously wounding many more, with local newspapers carrying daily "scorecards" of the latest body counts.
1988 Affair of the Four Children of Sugamo 1 Toshima, Tokyo Four malnourished children are found in a Tokyo apartment nine months after their mother had left to travel with her boyfriend, during which time a fifth child was discovered to have been murdered by two friends of the oldest child.
1988-1989 Tsutomu Miyazaki 4 Tokyo and Saitama prefecture Serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki abducts and murders girls aged four to seven.
1988-1989 Concrete-Encased High School Girl murder 1 Tokyo A 17-year-old boy Jo Kamisaku and three other boys abduct a high school girl Junko Furuta. They rape and assault her for 41 days. They murder her and encase her in concrete.
1989 Sakamoto family murder 3 Yokohama Tsutsumi Sakamoto, a lawyer working on a lawsuit against Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult disappears with his wife and child. In 1995 it was revealed that cult members had murdered them and buried their bodies.
1990 Sapporo murder 1 Sapporo Nagata Ryoji murders a robbery victim during a break-in at a Sapporo residence. Ryoji is subsequently added to the Japanese Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
1990 Gangland slaying of police officers 7 Okinawa Hideo Zamami, a member of the Kyokuryu-kai affiliated Nishiki family, guns down two plainclothes Okinawa police officers mistaking them for rival gangsters. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he later appealed the decision claiming he was innocent of the shooting and used a scapegoat. Although rejecting his appeal, the court denied the prosecution's request for the death penalty. A total of seven persons, including the two police officers and a high school boy, are killed during the battle.
1994 Matsumoto incident 7 Matsumoto, Nagano Doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo release sarin nerve gas in a residential area in the world's first use of chemical weapons by a terrorist group.
1995 Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack 12 Tokyo Aum Shinrikyo members conduct simultaneous attacks on multiple Tokyo Metro trains using sarin nerve gas, killing 12 and injuring more than 1000.
1995 Hachiōji supermarket murders 3 Hachiōji, Tokyo Three employees of a supermarket are found shot dead in a suspected robbery. Despite massive publicity, the case is still unsolved.
1997 Kobe child murders 2 Kobe Over several months, a 14-year old boy, alias "Seito Sakakibara," attacks a total of four younger girls with a hammer or a knife, killing one of them. He then strangles and decapitates Jun Hase, an 11-year old boy, leaving his head in front of his school with a note stuffed in his mouth, and sends taunting letters to a newspaper. The nation is shocked when a 14 year old is arrested, and eventually prompted the government to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 14 in 2000.
1997 Murder of Masaru Takumi 2 Kobe Masaru Takumi, considered to be the heir apparent of Yakuza leader Yoshinori Watanabe's Yamaguchi-gumi organization, is killed by rival Nakano-kai gangsters Kouji Ishihara, Nakaho Kiyohara and Toriyabara Kiyoteru at a popular Kobe hotel. During the attack, dentist Hirai Hiroshi was mistaken as a bodyguard for Takumi and is killed by a four gunman Takeshi Yoshida whose killing of an innocent bystander would eventually lead to the Japanese government's prosecution of the Nakano-kai.
1998 Wakayama curry poisoning 4 Wakayama Four people are killed and 63 injured after eating curry laced with arsenic at a community festival in Wakayama. Masumi Hayashi, the chief suspect, has been sentenced to death and is currently appealing.
1999 Okegawa stalking murder 2 Okegawa, Saitama A stalker Kazuhito Komatsu murders 21-year-old Shiori Ino with accomplices. The Police ignores her appeal before the murder and slanders her after the murder. A journalist Kiyoshi Shimizu determines criminals. Komatsu escapes and kills himself in Hokkaido.
2000 Niigata girl confinement incident - Tokyo While investigating a domestic disturbance call, police discover a schoolgirl who had been kidnapped in 1990 and held prisoner in an upstairs apartment for over nine years by a mentally disturbed man, Nobuyuki Sato. The girl, Fusako Sano, was returned to her parents while Sato was hospitalized and eventually sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.
2000 Tokyo Bay Sinyo Bay Bank robbery 1 Tokyo Tominaga Kazuyuki, a career criminal associated with the Yakuza, successfully steals 46,000,000 yen after hijacking a delivery to a pachinko parlor in December 2000. During the robbery, the driver was gunned down by Kazuyuki and an unidentified Chinese accomplice.
2000 Hostess murders 2 Roppongi, Tokyo Joji Obara, a prominent Osaka businessman, murders and dismembers British hostess Lucie Blackman. After the discovery of her body a year later, he was charged with her murder as well as similar charges against Australian hostess Carita Ridgeway and sexual assault charges against six other women. He was found not guilty of murdering Lucie Blackman due to lack of evidence, but was convicted of the other crimes.
2000 Setagaya family murder 4 Setagaya, Tokyo In an incident which shocked the nation, a family of four are murdered at their home in suburban Tokyo by an unknown intruder. Despite extensive investigations and a huge media coverage, the case remains unsolved.
2001 Hokuryo Clinic Incident 10? Sendai, Miyagi An 89-year-old woman dies mysteriously in Koryo Clinic. A nurse Daisuke Mori is suspected of at least 10 murders. He is arrested for a murder, but he insists that their death are caused by medical errors.
2001 Osaka School Massacre 8 Osaka 37 year old former janitor Mamoru Takuma entered an elementary school in Osaka, then used a kitchen knife to kill 8 students. He wounded an additional 13 other students and 2 teachers. He was executed in 2004.
2001 Myojo 56 building fire 44 Tokyo A building caught fire in Kabukicho. Three employees can escape by jumping from the third floor of the building, but 44 people are killed by carbon monoxide in the building. The cause is strongly suspected as arson. However security is poor in Kabukicho and customers use false names. The case is still unsolved.
2002 Kitakyushu serial murders 7 Kitakyūshū Futoshi Matsunaga forces the victims to kill each other, resulting in killing 7 people between 1996 and 1998. Matsunaga and his common-law wife Junko Ogata are arrested in 2002 after a girl escapes from them.
2003 Super Free rape incident - Tokyo Students of Japanese universities in Tokyo rape women in a circle Super Free. An organizer Shinichiro Wada and 13 other members are arrested for gang rapes. The estimated number of rape victims are up to 500.
2003 Fukuoka family murder 4 Fukuoka Businessman Shinjiro Matsumoto, his wife Chika and two children aged 11 and 8 are murdered in a robbery by three Chinese students who broke into their home, and their bodies dumped in Hakata Bay. Two of the three - Yang Ning and Wang Liang – fled to China where they were arrested. Yang was executed and Wang sentenced to life imprisonment. The third, Wei Wei, was arrested in Japan and is currently on death row.
2004 Sasebo slashing 1 Sasebo, Nagasaki Satomi Mitarai, a 12-year-old elementary student, is stabbed to death by her classmate at school. The classmate has not been identified for legal reasons.
2004 Ōmuta murders 4 Ōmuta, Fukuoka Mob wife Mami Kitamura murders four people with her husband and two sons. The four people are sentenced to death.
2004 Murder of Kaede Ariyama 1 Nara Kaede Ariyama, a 7-year-old school girl, is kidnapped and murdered by a local newspaper deliveryman, Kaoru Kobayashi. Following his arrest, he was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty.
2005 Web suicide site murders 3 Osaka Serial killer Hiroshi Maeue murders three people. They are lured by Maeue via the online suicide club. He has been executed.
2005 Murder of Airi Kinoshita 1 Hiroshima, Japan 7-year old Airi Kinoshita is abducted on her way home from school and killed by wanted Peruvian sex offender Jose Manuel Torres Yake. He was sentenced to life.
2006 Five dead bodies in Hiratsuka 5 Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Five dead bodies are found in Hiratsuka. A woman Chizuko Okamoto is arrested for a murder of her daughter, but the case is hardly solved due to lack of evidence and statute of limitations.
2007 Iccho Itoh Murder 1 Nagasaki The mayor of Nagasaki, Iccho Itoh, is shot to death by Tetsuya Shiroo. Shiroo is a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate and was angry over damage to his car that occurred at a city construction site four years earlier.
2007 Murder of Hiroshi Miyamoto 7 Saga and Fukuoka Gangs, who belong to Dojin-kai, dispute about its leader. Kyushu Seido-kai separates from Dojin-kai and they kill each other. They kill six gang members and a civilian, Hiroshi Miyamoto.
2008 Akihabara massacre 7 Akihabara, Tokyo 25-year old Tomohiro Kato rams a truck into a crowd of shoppers and proceeds to stab the run-down victims, killing six men and one woman and injuring 11 others. The perpetrator was later executed.
2011 Amagasaki Serial Murder Incident 8 - Hyogo, Kochi, Kagawa, Okayama, Shiga, Kyoto Miyoko Sumida and her family forces the victims to kill each other, resulting in killing at least 8 people between the 1990s - 2000s. The Sumida family was arrested in 2011, while Miyoko committed suicide in 2012. The investigation is ongoing.

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