Killing suspect mum on motive

OSAKA — A man arrested April 9 in connection with the fatal stabbing the same day of an 8-year-old girl refuses to elaborate on a motive for the attack, investigators said April 10.

Niiyo Shimono, a third-grade student at Shikitsu Elementary School of Naniwa Ward, Osaka, was stabbed in the back of the neck in front of the suspect’s house on the morning of April 9. She was rushed to hospital at around 8 a.m. and died about an hour later.

Police arrested Keichi Haku, 44, an assistant at a glass processing company, at a construction site in Osaka’s Miyakojima Ward.

A 15-cm fish knife was protruding from the girl’s neck when she was found.

Police quoted Haku as saying, “I attacked her because a girl is a weak being.” Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the killing was wanton.

Around the time of the stabbing, Shimono, another elementary school pupil and a female company employee were walking near the home, police said. Haku approached the girl from behind and suddenly stabbed her in the neck, police said.

They determined that the knife had been brought from Haku’s home. A towel was found wrapped around its grip.

The victim lived with her 39-year-old Thai mother and 45-year-old father, an employee in a food sales business.