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Mayor of Nagasaki assassinated in mob hit

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Perry White, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. Perry White

    Perry White Active Member


    TOKYO - The mayor of the Japanese city of Nagasaki was shot to death in a brazen attack Tuesday by an organized crime chief apparently enraged that the city refused to compensate him after his car was damaged at a public works construction site, news agencies reported.

    The shooting was rare in a country where handguns are strictly banned and only four politicians are known to have been killed since World War II.

    Mayor Iccho Ito, 61, was shot twice in the back at point-blank range outside a train station Tuesday evening, Nagasaki police official Rumi Tsujimoto said.

    One of the bullets struck the mayor's heart and he went into cardiac arrest, according to Nagasaki University Hospital spokesman Kenzo Kusano. Kyodo News agency and national broadcaster NHK said Ito died of his wounds early Wednesday.

    Tetsuya Shiroo, a senior member of Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest organized crime syndicate, was wrestled to the ground by officers after the attack and arrested for attempted murder, police said.

    He later admitted to shooting Ito with a handgun with the intent to kill, Nagasaki chief investigator Kazuki Umebayashi said at a news conference.

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a "rigorous investigation."

    It was the second attack in the last 20 years against a mayor of Nagasaki, which was destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb in 1945 and whose leaders have actively campaigned against militarism.

    In 1990, Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima was shot and seriously wounded after saying that Japan's emperor, beloved by rightists, bore some responsibility for World War II.

    Tuesday's attack appeared to involve a more trivial matter, however.

    Shiroo reportedly clashed with Nagasaki city officials in 2003 after his car was damaged when he drove into a hole at a public works site. He tried unsuccessfully to get compensation from the city after his insurance company refused to pay up, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

    Shiroo also sent a letter to broadcaster TV Asahi to protest recent money scandals linked to Ito, including hidden accounts and public works contracts, Kyodo reported.

    Backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Ito was campaigning for his fourth term in office before Sunday's elections. He was an active figure in the movement against nuclear proliferation, heading a coalition of Japanese cities calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

    "Mayor Ito had a strong and boundless passion for peace," said Sunao Tsuboi, leader of a survivors' group based in Hiroshima, a city also flattened by a U.S. atomic bomb in 1945. "We all pray for his recovery."

    Commonly known as yakuza, Japan's organized crime groups are typically involved in real estate and construction kickback schemes, extortion, gambling, the sex industry, gunrunning and drug trafficking.

    The yakuza also have had a long-standing political alliance with right-wing nationalists in Japan, although authorities did not indicate that Tuesday's attack was politically motivated.

    Organized crime groups are behind most shootings in Japan, with two-thirds of the country's 53 known shootings last year being gang-related, according to the National Police Agency. Police estimate there are about 84,500 gangsters across Japan.

    Attacks on politicians in post-war Japan are extremely rare.

    In 1960, Socialist leader Inejiro Asanuma was killed in an attack by a sword-wielding 17-year-old that riveted the nation.

    In 2002, a ruling party politician was fatally stabbed in a dispute over political funds. In the 1990s, a Liberal Democrat lawmaker was killed at his home by his daughter and an opposition lawmaker was stabbed to death by a mental patient.

    Last year, a right-wing extremist burned down the house of ruling party lawmaker Koichi Kato after the politician criticized then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's pilgrimage to a controversial Tokyo war shrine. No one was home at the time.
  2. Now THAT'S a Metro story.
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Ted Nugent says all Japanese citizens should be armed.
  4. [​IMG]

    So much for conealed weapons, Nuge-san.
  5. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Thank God you found one with a guitar covering his junk instead of the loin cloth.

    You are posting pics with admirable restraint, good man.
  6. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    ONLY four politicians killed since WWII? Still seems like a lot.
    After dealing with insurance companies and bureaucrats, I certainly understand the rage. The reaction was a bit extreme.
  7. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    What? This isn't about me, this is about the mayor of Nagasaki. Why do you have to be an ass and attack me for stating my opinion? Please stick to the subject.
  8. Chef

    Chef Active Member



    "In this blue corner.....hailing from Wrigleyville, Ill.......tipping the scales at a Leon Durham-like 240 pounds.......the man with the coolest HST avatar on the block.......THE GOOD DDDDDDDDDDDDOOOOOOOOOOCCCCCCCCCCTTTTTTTOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRR"

    "And in the red corner.........hailing from the nether regions of SoCal........tipping the scales at a svelt Nicole Richie-like 103 pounds........the man who puts the Weav in Buck Weaver..........BBBBBBBBBUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK WWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRR"

    "Your referee for the match is Mr. Mills Lane"

    [millslanevoice]---"Let's get it on."

    Opening line; Doc getting 5:3

    phila already has doc in the fourth at $100........weav, although he's a wee lad, may go a touch longer......I'm saying Doc in 9, but I'm concerned with the stamina of Doc since mama's dragging his carcas to bed at 2:30ish in the morning.
  9. PhilaYank36

    PhilaYank36 Guest

    $100 on a GD knockout in the fourth round.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Of course, this happened in a nation with perhaps some of the tightest gun control laws this side of Britain.

    Criminals will kill someone if they want to.
  11. JackyJackBN

    JackyJackBN Guest

    Historically, the Yakuza are especially bold in northern and western Kyushu. People with expensive vehicles are careful about driving in certain areas. They could be involved in an "accident" and forced to pay gomen (forgive me) money. Some people won't drive a fancy vehicle if they live in one of those areas.

    These guys have a code, and it sometimes involves being ritually stupid.
  12. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    agreed except from what i know based on my reading about yakuza the killer violated the code.

    as posted on one of the VaTech threads, sometimes there's no explaining what people do. to figure out how this guy made the logical connection that because the city wouldn't reimburse him for his damaged car meant the mayor should be executed is an exercise in futility.
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