Japan’s ‘Black Widow’ confesses to killing fourth man

Chisako Kakehi, 70, has become notorious over accusations she killed a number of elderly men she was involved with, drawing comparisons with the spider that kills its mate after copulation.

Kakehi is on trial for the murders of three men – including a husband – and the attempted murder of another, all to allow her to collect on insurance policies.

Prosecutors suspect she used cyanide to get rid of her lovers, amassing a reported ¥1bn (£6.9m) in payouts over 10 years.

Her trial began in late June, but this week she stunned the court by telling judges she had murdered another man in 2013.

“I was waiting for the right timing as I wanted to kill him out of deep hatred,” the Asahi newspaper quoted her as saying on Monday.

The Fuji television network quoted her saying the crime was just “an issue of money”.

But on Wednesday, Kakehi appeared to retract her statements. “I don’t remember [what I said],” she testified, according to the Mainichi newspaper.

Kakehi’s lawyers argued she was not guilty of murdering Isao Kakehi on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Kyoto district court said last year that medical examinations found that Kakehi had early-stage dementia but was fit to stand trial. If convicted of murder she could face the death penalty.

A former millionaire nicknamed the “Black Widow” over the untimely deaths of her lovers admitted poisoning her last partner at her trial this week in a multiple murder case that has gripped Japan. (theguardian.com)

Japan has lodged a protest against North Korea over an incident this month in which a ship thought to be North Korean pointed what appeared to be a gun at a Japanese Fisheries Agency patrol vessel. The incident took place inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. (NHK)

Rescuers have been expanding search areas for missing residents one week after record rains wreaked havoc across the northern Kyushu region in western Japan. (NHK)

Japan’s revised Penal Code stipulating tighter penalties against sex offences went into force Thursday. (Jiji)

Japan’s buses and taxis will be freer to carry packages along with passengers starting in September as the government cuts regulations to battle an increasingly severe shortage of drivers at the nation’s shippers. (Nikkei)

Pokemon GO players in Japan have spent an average of $26 in-game per download since launch, according to Sensor Tower. (pocketgamer.biz)

Public broadcaster NHK apologized Wednesday over a cartoon with Adolf Hitler’s face that was printed on a T-shirt worn by a talk show guest. (Japan Times)

“Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen” and the U.N. are rhyming. Japanese comedian Pikotaro has adapted his catchy song to promote the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. (Japan Today)

The economy ministry has taken punitive action against major ad agency Dentsu Inc. for its violation of labor law standards, telling the firm it cannot participate in the bidding process for its new projects for a month. (Japan Times)

Chief negotiators from the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries met Wednesday in the hot-spring resort town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, to discuss how to breathe fresh life into the massive free trade deal after the U.S. withdrew. (Japan Times)

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