Wife of executed child killer says she wanted more time with him

The woman who married Mamoru Takuma while he was on death row for killing eight schoolchildren said in a message Sunday she wished she could have spent more time with him before he was executed Tuesday.

“I would like to extend my sincerest apologies for a grave crime committed by my husband that caused an irreparable result,” she said in a message presented at a rally in Tokyo protesting his execution.

Her name has been withheld.

Takuma murdered eight children in 2001 at an Osaka school in an attack that shocked the nation. He was sentenced to death last year. He withdrew an appeal to a high court submitted by his defense team.

“I continued praying simply in the hope of establishing a bond (with him) that is more like a love for family so that he would develop a heart that could understand the pain of others,” the message read.

“I wanted at least some more time to continue dialogue with him,” she said.

“I feel nothing but regret for having been unable to make him feel for the need of atonement,” she said. “I was just powerless.”

According to the woman, she was visited by a staff member of the Osaka Detention House at around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday and was notified of the execution.

The time of death was 8:16 a.m., she said. Before the execution, Takuma, 40, requested a cigarette and some juice from detention house staff and said he did not want to leave a will, she said.

But according to Takuma’s wife, he told the staff member, “Please tell (my wife) I said thank you.”

He was unperturbed before the execution, she said.

The woman married Takuma last December, a few months after his death sentence was confirmed, and she was meeting with him at the detention house.

The meeting Sunday was sponsored by human rights group Amnesty International’s Japan unit and others. Around 60 people participated.