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Japan

Japanese man who killed Chinese sisters jailed for 23 years

Tatsuy Iwasaki had been romantically interested in the elder sister but murdered her after coming to believe that she was trying to use him to contract a fake marriage

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 July, 2018, 5:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 July, 2018, 5:10pm

The Yokohama District Court on Friday sentenced a 40-year-old man to 23 years in prison for murdering two Chinese sisters and leaving their bodies – stuffed in travel bags – in woods near Tokyo last year.

Lawyers representing Tatsuya Iwasaki appealed the ruling immediately, claiming he was not involved in killing and abandoning the remains of Chen Baolan, 25, and Chen Baozhen, 22, in July 2017. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty.

The crime was conducted “with a strong intention of killing,” judge Kiyoshi Aonuma said in handing down the ruling.

Chinese sisters found dead in suitcases were known in Yokohama’s red light district

Iwasaki had been romantically interested in the elder sister but murdered her after coming to believe that she was trying to use him to contract a fake marriage, according to the ruling, which added Iwasaki killed the younger sister to cover up the crime.

Iwasaki’s lawyers have said he only cooperated in a plan to make it look like the two women had disappeared as the elder sister’s right to legal residence was about to expire.

The court dismissed the argument, saying there was no sign of the involvement of a third person, and that only Iwasaki was able to enter the sisters’ flat in Yokohama where the two were choked to death on July 6 last year.

Iwasaki abandoned their bodies in the mountains in Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, the next day after packing them into travel bags, the ruling said.

Chen Baolan first arrived in Japan in 2009 on a student exchange programme, while her younger sister arrived in 2012 and was studying game software programming, according to the Tokyo Reporter website.

But Shukan Jitsuwa reported that the two women were also working at a club in Yokohama’s Isezakicho red light district that permitted clients to take female employees to nearby hotels. They were known locally as the “beautiful Chinese sisters”.