National / Crime & Legal

Suspected knife attack by 14-year-old leaves fellow student, 13, dead in Saitama

Kyodo

A male junior high school student in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, was fatally stabbed and his suspected assailant, a 14-year-old student, has been arrested, police said Saturday.

The suspect was held on suspicion of attempted murder after the victim, identified as 13-year-old Kotaro Hongo, was found Friday close to the alleged attacker’s home with stab wounds to his upper body, police said.

The suspect’s name is being withheld because he is a minor.

The police plan to recommend the suspect be charged with murder, they added.

The suspect has admitted to stabbing Hongo.

“A quarrel over a textbook turned into a real fight,” investigators quoted the suspect as saying.

According to police, the two boys were studying together for a series of end-of-term examinations at the 14-year-old student’s home Friday afternoon. His grandmother was at home at the time.

Another student who was on his way to join them found Hongo lying in front of the home and asked a nearby resident to make an emergency call around 4:50 p.m., according to the police.

The suspect initially told the police Hongo “killed himself” but later admitted to stabbing him.

The police have found the knife believed to have been used in the attack.

The head of the local education board held a news conference Saturday and said the students’ school was not aware of any personal trouble between them.

They had known each since other before joining the school and both belonged to the school’s table tennis club.

A 14-year-old girl who attends the same school said the two boys appeared to get along well together. She said she had never seen them argue.