Sumida son given 17 years for his role in Amagasaki killings
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/18/national/crime-legal/son-given-17-years-for-his-role-in-sumida-killings/#.VWBMOZWJjIU Kyodo Mar 18, 2015 KOBE – The second son of alleged criminal matriarch Miyoko Sumida was sentenced to 17 years in jail on Wednesday for his part in a spate of bizarre deaths linked to the family.
Japan in shock over woman’s 'reign of terror’ November 09, 2012 http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201211090081 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
AMAGASAKI, Hyogo Prefecture—It’s a crime spree that has gripped the nation, a horrific chain of events involving torture, death--and a 64-year-old woman so terrifying that she coerced children to turn against their parents.
Five bodies have been found, including two stuffed in concrete-filled drums. Four people remain missing, and multiple arrests have been made.
Police are still trying to uncover details of the crimes linked to Miyoko Sumida, the apparent ringleader of a group behind the violence.
Sumida, her common-law husband and six relatives were arrested on Nov. 7 on suspicion of abandoning the body of Jiro Hashimoto, 53, in a drum filled with concrete. The suspects include Sumida’s sister-in-law, Mieko Sumida, 59, Sumida’s cousin Masanori Sumida, 38, Sumida's son Yutaro Sumida, 25, and Rui Sumida, 27, Yutaro's wife.
Hashimoto was the brother of Mieko Sumida's husband.
Police suspect Hashimoto was living at Miyoko Sumida’s condominium in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, and died in July 2011 after being repeatedly assaulted and left handcuffed in a locked hut on the balcony for a week or so.
The drum containing his body was retrieved from the water at Hinase Port in Bizen, Okayama Prefecture, on Oct. 30.
Miyoko Sumida has generally admitted to the allegations, police said.
Hashimoto’s mother remains missing.
Sources said Miyoko Sumida was the tyrannical leader of the group of relatives, close and distant, who lived in her lavish condominium.
Not only was Sumida intimidating, but she was also a braggart, once showing off jewelry she claimed was worth 200 million yen ($2.5 million) to a neighbor.
It is unclear where Sumida obtained her apparent wealth. She dropped out of high school and opened a bar that hired women in an entertainment district of Amagasaki when she was a teenager. She married when she was 23 but divorced two years later, the sources said.
At the condominium filled with relatives and acquaintances, Mieko Sumida acted as Miyoko Sumida's treasurer, while Masanori Sumida was her bodyguard and Rui Sumida was considered her successor.
Miyoko Sumida and her minions were so intimidating that they forced family members of one victim to participate in her death, the sources said.
The victim was Kazuko Oe, 66, who lived in a condominium next to Sumida’s. Oe’s body was found in a concrete-filled drum in a warehouse in Amagasaki in November last year, apparently after having been confined in her condominium.
Miyoko Sumida, Masanori Sumida, Oe’s two daughters and a former husband of one of the daughters have been indicted on charges of causing injuries resulting in Oe’s death and abandoning her body.
The discovery of Oe’s body led to the wider investigation surrounding Sumida. Police soon discovered that eight other individuals connected to the Amagasaki woman were missing.
The bodies of three of them--Mariko Nakashima, 29, Takashi Tanimoto, 68, and Mitsue Ando, 71--were found under the floor of a house in Amagasaki in mid-October.
Nakashima was an older sister of Rui Sumida, and Tanimoto was their uncle. Ando had been a girlfriend of Miyoko Sumida’s late elder brother.
Police suspect the three died before 2008 after continued abuse from Sumida’s relatives in her condominium. They were fed only instant noodles and snacks during their final days, the sources said.
Sumida was long known to overreact to even the slightest inconveniences, and demanded outrageous compensation from the target of her vicious verbal attacks to make things right. She effectively took over and broke up the family of Nakashima and Rui Sumida using her methods of terror, according to sources close to the family.
In 2003, Miyoko Sumida and others invaded the family’s home in Takamatsu. According to sources, Sumida was infuriated because the sisters’ parents had refused to live with their nephew, Masanori Sumida, the sources said.
During the occupation of the house, the parents suffered months of violence from Miyoko Sumida, Masanori Sumida and others. Miyoko Sumida even forced the daughters to turn against their parents. Tanimoto, the father’s older brother, was later brought into the ring, the sources said.
The mother was reportedly reduced to skin and bone and died of an illness. The father was forced to borrow 18 million yen from his relatives before Sumida and her subordinates finally left for Amagasaki, taking with them the two daughters and Tanimoto, the sources said.
Rui, who had won Sumida’s favor, married son Yutaro in 2007.
In addition to Hashimoto’s mother, three other individuals remain unaccounted for: the brother of Miyoko Sumida’s adopted son, Kentaro; the woman who lived in the house where the bodies of Nakashima, Tanimoto and Ando were found; and the woman’s daughter.
(This article was compiled from reports by The Asahi Shimbun and Asahi Shimbun Weekly AERA.) THE ASAHI SHIMBUN