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Thursday, 20th March 2008
In General Japan News,

Life for Akita woman following murder

Akita District Court has sentenced a 35-year-old woman to life in prison for the murder of two children in 2006.

Following the murder of her daughter and a seven-year-old neighbour, Suzuka Hatakeyama avoided the death penalty on the grounds that the murder of the boy was not premeditated, reports Kyodo News.

However, the court rejected claims that Ms Hatakeyama had not intended to kill her daughter.

"I wonder why [she] doesn't deserve death. I believe the sentence is too lenient," said one of Ms Hatakeyama's neighbours.

Another added: "Execution takes only seconds, but a life term takes years. It's better to give [Ms Hatakeyama] years to repent her crime."

The murders took place in the town of Fujisato, Akita Prefecture - one of the country's most well-known regions for the farming of rice.

Akita Prefecture is famous as the home of Lake Tazawa-ko, Japan's deepest lake.

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