Taunting killer’s note linked to word processor

KOBE — Investigators have pinpointed the maker of a word processor believed used by the killer of an 11-year-old Suma Ward boy last month to write a message sent to the daily Kobe Shimbun, informed sources said June 13.

Although the message was hand-written, it may have been based on one originally typed with a word processor, because it contains many kanji that are complicated and not used in ordinary letters, the sources said. Police have studied certain kanji in the message and discovered that word processors that can convert the characters “kyo” (emptiness) and “ra” for “bara” (rose) into particular types of kanji are manufactured by Sharp Corp., they said. Investigators have found that only word processors made by Sharp and Fujitsu Ltd. can convert “kyo” into a complex form of kanji, but processors that can also convert “ra” into the kanji character were only made by Sharp., they added.

According to Sharp, its word processors are based on the 1978 Japan Industrial Standard, and the company has produced more than 5 million units since 1979. More than 1 million word processors were put on the market by various manufacturers last year alone, with Sharp accounting for nearly 30 percent.