Kawasaki suspect says he beat, stabbed 13-year-old victim

Kyodo, Staff Report

An 18-year-old youth arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing a 13-year-old boy along the Tama River in Kawasaki has admitted to his role in the slaying, saying he used a box cutter to kill the boy, investigative sources said Monday.

Two 17-year-old boys also arrested in connection with the killing have told the police that the 18-year-old, the alleged leader of their group, murdered Ryota Uemura on Feb. 20, the sources said.

Until Sunday, the 18-year-old had said he would not speak about what happened on that day. The names of all three suspects are being withheld because they are minors.

The main suspect appears to have been overcome with remorse, telling investigators, “There is no mending what I did,” the sources said.

He also said he made Uemura swim in the river just before the killing, according to the sources.

The other two youths also attacked the victim with a box cutter, the sources said, quoting the main suspect. It was unclear whether they used different box cutters or shared one between them.

The 18-year-old suspect apologized to the victim in January after severely beating him, as the victim’s friends had demanded an apology, the sources said. The police quoted the suspect as saying he was upset because Uemura had told his friends about the beating.

The investigation sources said that the suspect was angered at being forced to apologize and that it possibly led him to kill Uemura.

The suspect forced the victim to sit up straight in January after telling him he was impertinent and then severely assaulted him, according to a source who knows both teenagers. The suspect may have lashed out like this because Uemura had told his friends that he wanted to stop hanging around with the 18-year-old.

One of Uemura’s friends who demanded the apology said Uemura had bruises on his face when they later happened to meet. Asked what happened, Uemura mentioned the 18-year-old suspect’s name.

Uemura was on his way to see the suspect, so the friends went along with him and asked the suspect why he beat up the younger boy. The suspect apologized to him and said he would never assault him again.

A friend of the suspect said the 18-year-old was angry that Uemura divulged his name and that he was forced to apologize over the assault.

The investigators have this information and are interviewing more acquaintances of the suspects and the victim.

The father of the main suspect emerged from his house on Monday morning.

Appearing exhausted, he told reporters only that everything had been left in the hands of a lawyer representing his son.

  • doninjapan

    Man… 18 years old – and a minor. Old enough to do this abhorrent deed, old enough to be tried as an adult.

    • Bernd Bausch

      Well, if you are under 20, you are considered a minor around here. This is not too different from other countries; in many countries in Europe, one was a minor under 21 until a few decades ago. The legal drinking age in the US is 21 in many (all?) states.
      While this is an abhorrent crime, and the murderer is certainly able to distinguish good from bad, one has to seriously question whether he can be considered an adult.

      • 151E

        The legal concept of an adult is at best vague and arbitrary. Biologically speaking, an animal is an adult when it has reached sexual maturity. This individual is of an age that he should be able to distinguish right from wrong, and there are no extenuating circumstances to this crime. He should be held fully accountable for his actions.

      • V Gonzales III

        The legal drinking age in all US States is 21. Some of their territories its as low as 18.

      • doninjapan

        Err… I think you missed my point. And as 151E stated, he is absolutely of an age where he’s capable of assessing right and wrong.

      • Firas Kraïem

        You’re insane. A ten-year-old is mostly capable

        of assessing right and wrong, so should be tried as an adult?

      • doninjapan

        Gee. Thanks for the ad hominem, because that’s exactly what I said, right?
        That’s absolutely a moronic analogy to make (you even used the word “mostly” as some sort of qualifier – and note: I said that the analogy was moronic, not you).
        If you can’t differentiate between an 18 year old, and a 10 year old…

      • ishyg

        But this is an 18-year old we’re talking about, and he murdered someone. Like “gee, I don’t know killing someone in a very horrific manner is wrong” wouldn’t cut it.

        Interestingly, this is written in the Wikipedia article about the criminal justice system of Japan: “The cases of young people between the ages of fourteen and twenty can, at the judgment of police, be sent to the public prosecutor for possible trial as adults before a judge under the general criminal law.”

  • Guest

    The 18yr old will mostly likely hang. Good riddance! The two 17 year old little punks will get off with a few years but hopefully the victim’s father will beat them to death upon their release. I sure would if it was my kid.

  • Mike

    The 18yr old will most likely hang. Good riddance! The two 17 year old little punks will get off with a few years but hopefully the victim’s father will beat them to death upon their release. I sure would if it was my kid.