OSAKA — The father of an 8-year-old girl who was stabbed to death at an Osaka elementary school along with seven other children last year took out his rage on the man accused of the crime at a court session here Thursday.
“Why don’t you bow your head? You and your relatives have never apologized. I want to kill you, if it could be condoned,” the father said in addressing Mamoru Takuma, 38, at the Osaka District Court. “You should bite your tongue off and die.”
He added that he not only hopes Takuma is given the death penalty, but that the victims’ relatives be allowed to watch the execution via closed-circuit TV, as is the case in some countries.
The witness stand was placed a short distance from Takuma at the request of the victims’ families and screened off from the public gallery.
Reflecting on the incident, the father went on to say in a forced whisper that he screamed at the radio report conveying news of his daughter’s death while rushing to the hospital where she was taken by taxi.
“Several days after the incident, I visited the scene (of the crime) and saw that half of the classroom was still stained with blood,” he said.
According to the indictment, Takuma broke into the Osaka Kyoiku University Ikeda Elementary School in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, on June 8, 2001, stabbed seven girls and one boy to death, and injured 13 other children and two teachers.
The girl’s mother took the witness stand after her husband and shouted at Takuma, “Die as quickly as possible, and disappear from the face of the Earth!”
The mother said she had attended trial sessions in which Takuma was questioned in the hope of hearing details of the situation under which her daughter was killed, but instead was subjected to “useless stories” of Takuma’s past.
Takuma, who has pleaded guilty to the charges, has a history of receiving psychiatric treatment.
Prosecutors maintain, however, that he is mentally competent and can be held accountable for the crimes. He is due to undergo further psychiatric tests.
Thursday’s session marked the second time victims’ relatives were questioned by prosecutors.