SHORT-TERM MEMORY PROBLEMS

Slain girl’s father still distraught, his lawyer says

Kyodo

The father of a 12-year-old girl killed by a classmate last week has been so shaken by the incident that he cannot recall what he was thinking just a few minutes earlier, his lawyer said Sunday.

Lawyer Mitsuhide Yahiro told a news conference that he spent about two hours speaking with Kyoji Mitarai, the 45-year-old father of Satomi Mitarai, who was stabbed to death by an 11-year-old friend at Okubo Elementary School in Sasebo on Tuesday.

Mitarai, who heads the Mainichi Shimbun’s Sasebo bureau, made efforts to discuss the incident, but tears at times came to his eyes, according to the lawyer.

Yahiro added that it appears the father is still unable to fully come to grips with what happened, and does not seem to be sleeping very well.

Due to the shock of suddenly losing his daughter, the youngest of his three children, the father said that he cannot remember things he was thinking just two or three minutes earlier, the lawyer said.

Mitarai was also quoted as remarking that he “sees things differently” now that he is on the receiving end of media questions.

He also said he was wondering what course of action would be the best for him to take as a person who is involved in journalism.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the assailant said he spoke to her parents for about three hours Sunday to find out details including her character, actions and upbringing.

Both said they did not sense anything unusual about their daughter prior to the attack, and appeared to be unable to comprehend why the incident happened, according to lawyer Akinori Yamamoto.