JAPAN. GANGSTER SENTENCED TO HANG FOR MAYOR'S ASSASSINATION
May 26, 2008: A gangster has been sentenced to death by a Japanese court for killing the mayor of Nagasaki.
Tetsuya Shiroo, 60, shot Mayor Iccho Ito twice in the back as he campaigned for re-election in April 2007.
Shiroo, a member of the country's largest crime syndicate, blamed the city government for his financial problems, the court heard.
The murder shocked Japan, where gun crime is extremely rare and the possession of hand guns is banned.
At the court in Nagasaki, Judge Yoshimichi Matsuo called the shooting "outrageous and heinous".
"This was a crime that shook the democratic system from its root and was equivalent to denying the electoral process," he said.
Prosecutors said Shiroo blamed the mayor for the local government's refusal to grant him a loan and compensate him for a traffic
He shot him outside Nagasaki station in April 2007 in a bid to prevent his re-election, they said.
During the trial, Shiroo expressed remorse for the shooting and apologised to Mr Ito's family.
Mr Ito had served three terms as Nagasaki mayor and was a well-known pacifist. (Sources: BBC, 26/05/2008)