Japan’s alleged ‘black widow’ admits killing husband

“I killed my husband,” Chisako Kakehi said after taking the stand for the first time in her lay judge trial at the Kyoto District Court.

Besides murdering her husband, Isao Kakehi, who died in 2013 at age 75, Chisaki Kakehi is accused of using poison to kill her two common-law husbands and attempting to murder a boyfriend. Prosecutors allege these crimes were all committed between 2007 and 2013.

When the trial started on June 26, Kakehi only provided an opening statement that said, “I’m leaving everything to my lawyers.” Her legal team asserted her innocence, claiming she cannot be held liable for crimes because she has dementia.

Kakehi’s husband died on Dec. 28, 2013. A fatal dose of a cyanide compound was detected in his body.

During her testimony Monday, Kakehi said she tricked her husband into taking the poison and that she probably put it in a health food capsule.

Kakehi also said she obtained chemicals containing cyanide from a supplier when she was running a T-shirt printing business.

Asked about her motive for the killing, Kakehi said she thought she would be able to repay her debts if her husband died, admitting she murdered him for his money.

Kakehi said her husband treated her poorly when it came to financial matters, especially when compared with a different woman he used to date.

A 70-year-old woman dubbed the “black widow” admitted Monday to fatally poisoning her husband. (Japan Times)

The death toll from the record rainfall in northern Kyushu reached 22 on Monday, with dozens still unaccounted for. (NHK)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday kicked off a campaign to encourage residents to replace their incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting for free. (Japan Times)

Public support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has fallen to the lowest level of his premiership, opinion polls showed Monday, after scandals and a historic defeat of his ruling party in Tokyo elections. (Japan Today)

Japanese companies have never been in better financial shape. Their sky-high ratio of capital to assets testifies to that fact, with the average figure topping 40% for the first time last fiscal year. There’s a catch, however: They are inveterate hoarders, which critics say points to a corporate governance problem. (Nikkei)

While the latest data shows that the number of Japanese shrank by a record in 2016, the demographic picture isn’t quite so bleak when you include the growing ranks of foreigners. (Bloomberg)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he will reshuffle members of his cabinet and executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in early August. (Jiji)

Chiba Prefectural Police have launched an investigation after a man who was found collapsed in Katori City on Sunday later died, reports Nippon News Network (tokyoreporter.com)

Shizuoka Prefectural Police have discovered a total of four knives in the possession of a male suspect and at the scene of a stabbing last week in Mishima City that left one person dead, reports the Jiji Press. (tokyoreporter.com)

A UNESCO committee has decided to register a group of monuments in western Japan as a World Cultural Heritage Site. (NHK)

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