A photo from 2010 showing Kudo-kai head Satoru Nomura (in white) with Fukuoka police investigators during a raid of the gang's affiliate in Kitakyushu, Japan.PHOTO: REUTERS

On Tuesday of last week, Satoru Nomura, who is described as the mastermind of the notorious crime group Kudo-kai, was sentenced to death after reportedly ordering a murder and an attack on three other citizens. “I asked for a fair decision … You will regret this for the rest of your life,” the 74-year-old Nomura told the judge, according to some reports.  

 65-year-old Fumio Tanoue, who worked side by side with Nomura, was also sentenced to life in prison. The court gave each man a fine of 20 million yen ($182,200).

Kudo-kai operated out of the Southwest in Japan in the Kitakyushu area; the organized group is known for their military mindset and use of machine guns and hand grenades.  Its members have been vocal about their dislike of the police, low frustration tolerance, and “fight with pride” attitude.

There have been long-standing rumors that the gang has involvement with criminal activities such as drug dealing, extortion, smuggling, and racketeering, among other illegal dealings.

Nomura was found guilty in 1998 of organizing the fatal shooting of an ex-boss of a fisheries cooperative who had a significant say over port construction projects.  It was also believed that Nomura had influence in the 2014 attack of a relative of the murder victim. 

Both Nomura and Tanoue were found guilty of plotting to stab a nurse who was treating Nomura for penis enlargement.   In 2012, a former police officer who had investigated Kudo-kai was shot and there were allegations that Nomura was somehow connected.

Japanese media said the outcome of  Nomura’s verdict was somewhat surprising given that there was no evidence to say Nomura had direct involvement in the crimes.

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