The head of one of Japan's most violent organized crime groups has been sentenced to death by hanging. Nomura Satoru, leader of a Yakuza crime syndicate based in the southern city of Fukuoka, was convicted of ordering four attacks, one of which killed the former chief of a fishing cooperative, the BBC reports. This is believed to be the first time a senior member of a Yakuza group has received a death sentence. Prosecutors said Nomura, 76, was responsible for the attacks because he was at the top of the group's chain of command. The lower-ranking members of the Kudo-kai group who carried out the attacks were convicted in earlier trials.
Fumio Tanoue, Nomura's 65-year-old second-in-command, received a life sentence. "I asked you for a fair judgment. But this is not fair at all," Nomura told the judge after he was sentenced Tuesday, per the Asahi Shimbun. "You will regret this for the rest of your life." Prosecutors said he deserved a harsh sentence because the victims of the four attacks were all ordinary citizens, not members of rival gangs. Prosecutors said the victims included a nurse who was stabbed in 2013, allegedly because Nomura was unhappy about how he was treated at a local clinic, and a former Fukuoka police officer who was shot in the leg in 2012. (Read more Yakuza stories.)