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TOKYO — A Japanese woman charged with trying to set a Yokota Air Base captain afire last year has apologized in court, saying she’s severed her friendship with the woman she contends made her do it.
Kimiko Kishiguchi is accused of dousing Air Force Capt. Samuel A. Pupich with a gasoline-kerosene mixture in June 2002.
Kishiguchi contends Nanae In — the former friend Kishiguchi has characterized as a psychic medium — told her that because Pupich was born under a lucky star, he wouldn’t die if she set him afire, and that she’d receive some of his good fortune.
The incident occurred outside Fussa City train station, where Pupich reportedly was waiting to pick up In.
The captain since has been re-assigned from Yokota Air Base.
Kishiguchi’s mother, Miyae, told the court at a June 30 hearing that she wants her daughter to return to Osaka and live with her.
Kishiguchi called her mother’s action outrageous, telling Judge Takeshi Kimura that she now wants to live free from others’ influence, and to make her own decisions.
Fussa police arrested Kishiguchi and In in January and charged them with attempted murder.
The Hachioji prosecutor’s office reduced the charge against Kishiguchi to “threats” and released In on Jan. 29 — warning that she still could face legal proceedings.
If convicted, Kishiguchi’s maximum punishment would be less than two years in jail or a fine of less than $2,500.
A sixth and tentatively final hearing will be July 16, with sentencing to be two weeks later.