Nagasaki Mayor's Killer Confesses
Alleged gangster apologizes in court as trial opens
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2008 1:54 PM CST
A coffin containing the remain of Nagasaki Mayor Iccho Ito arrives at his residence in the southwestern Japanese city of Nagasaki Wednesday, April 18, 2007. Ito was shot to death in a brazen attack Tuesday...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Japanese man accused of killing the mayor of Nagasaki last April has admitted to the crime, the BBC reports. "I apologize to Mayor Iccho Ito and his family from the bottom of my heart," Tetsuya Shiroo said today on the first day of his trial. An alleged gangster, Shiroo was apprehended immediately after shooting Ito last year as he campaigned for reelection.

"Every day, I pray that Mr. Ito rests in peace,” Shiroo said after acknowledging everything in the indictment was true. The trial will continue; at issue is whether the assassination, a rarity in Japan, was premeditated. Shiroo's defense team will argue that he meant only to threaten the mayor. Prosecutors maintain that he acted on a grudge against the city government.