Miyuki Muto, the president of a fish wholesaler, received a five-year suspended sentence for killing an employee after physically assaulting him.

Beaten to death
The incident occurred in August of last year in Obu City, Nagoya. At about 10:00 p.m., Muto began scolding one of her 23-year-old part-time workers, Haruhiko Masumoto, for his work attitude. The two had some prior issues regarding money as well, according to a subsequent police investigation.

Muto, who was 47 at the time, grew increasingly enraged at what she perceived to be a lack of remorse on the part of Masumoto. After hours of reprimanding Haruhiko, she reached her limit and began physically attacking Masumoto by kicking him in the sides of his abdomen and striking his head and face dozens of times.

That same night, at about 3:00 a.m., Masumoto was found unconscious and not breathing in the back seat of a car in a parking lot across the street from the company. An ambulance was quickly called to the scene and took him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead three hours later from internal bleeding in his abdomen.

On the mercy of the court
In court, Muto admitted to all charges against her and also reached an out-of-court settlement with the victim’s family. Her lawyers pled for leniency given the fact that Muto was remorseful and had immediately began taking “life-saving measures” upon discovering Masumoto unconscious.

Nagoya District Court Judge Okuyama agreed and rather than give Muto the six-year sentence as recommended by the prosecution, she was handed down the minimum penalty of a three-year suspended prison sentence, which will not be served if she completes five years of probation. Public reaction to the sentencing was overwhelmingly critical, with many people feeling that if the genders of the attacker and victim were swapped, the outcome would be very different.

“Too light!”
“You get probation for assault and murder?”
“That’s surprisingly light for murder.”
“So I can kill as long as I attempt first aid afterward?”
“Typical male discrimination ruling.”
“If a man beats a woman to death, would he only get probation?”
“This country is way too kind to criminals.”
“If it was a single blow okay, but this was repeatedly over a period of time.”
“What would happen if a 48-year-old male boss was assaulting and killed his 23-year-old female subordinate?”
“A man’s life is worth 5 years of probation.”

Interestingly, the outcry over sexism far outweighed the outrage that, in a developed country in this day and age, there are employers beating their workers to death and it’s tolerated by the law.

Source: CBC News, Itai News, J-Cast, Livedoor News, Breaking News Japan (Japanese)
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