• Kyodo


The father of 12-year-old Satomi Mitarai, who was killed by a classmate at a school in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, has received a letter of apology from the killer’s parents but refuses to read it, his lawyer said Saturday.

Kyoji Mitarai, 45, has said through his lawyers he is not yet ready to accept an apology from representatives of the killer.

The girl, whose name cannot be made public because she is a minor, killed Satomi by slashing her neck with a knife at Okubo Elementary School. The girl has said she attacked Satomi because she had written unpleasant messages about her on an Internet bulletin board.

Mitari’s lawyer, Matsuhide Yahiro, said he will wait before asking Mitarai to look into the records of investigation of the case or to deliver his opinion during the expected juvenile trial until after his client recovers from the emotional devastation.

Yahiro also said Mitarai seems to have grown somewhat calmer since the June 1 incident.

The lawyer released a letter Saturday written by Mitarai over his grief at losing his only daughter. He had already lost his wife to illness.

“Satomi is just not here. And it feels so strange to me,” Mitarai wrote. He first released a letter last Monday.

“Whenever my back was itchy, I would call Satomi. She would come over no matter where she was in the house, saying ‘OK, OK,’ ” he wrote. “The reality that no matter how much I call her she will never come is gradually dawning on me.”

Mitarai, head of the Mainichi Shimbun’s Sasebo bureau, said he is physically exhausted, adding the news reports on the killing disturb him.

“I may be selfish, but I think that such reports could stand as news reports even without mentioning her name or including photographs of her,” he wrote.