• Kyodo


Police on Saturday arrested two teenagers in connection with the beating death of a 15-year-old boy in a local cemetery.

The two, a 15-year-old dropout and 17-year-old high school student, turned themselves in separately at the same police station and were arrested on suspicion of killing Hikaru Uechi.

Police had earlier obtained arrest warrants and were searching for the two boys, both said to be friends of the victim. Their names are being withheld because they are minors.

The 15-year-old suspect said he gave himself up because he believed he would eventually be caught anyway, according to police sources. They said he told investigators he had done a terrible thing to Uechi.

The two boys allegedly beat Uechi with sticks at the cemetery between 11:30 p.m. Thursday and 1 a.m. Friday.

The teens began attacking him after drinking with seven others Thursday night, investigators said.

Uechi was found lying half-naked in the graveyard at around 9 a.m. Friday, his head covered in blood and his body riddled with bruises. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 11 a.m.

Both teens have admitted to the charges against them.

Bank gets bomb threat

SAPPORO (Kyodo) A 39-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of faking a bomb threat against Hokkaido Bank on Friday in an attempt to collect 50 million yen, police said Saturday.

Police officials identified the suspect as Tsutomu Namba, an unemployed resident of Sapporo’s Toyohira Ward.

Police said Namba, who was taken into custody Friday night, told investigators he was heavily in debt.

The bank’s Nakanoshima sub-branch in Toyohira Ward received a telephone call from a man at around 4:30 p.m. saying he forgot a paper bag next to an automated teller machine. A bank clerk then brought the bag into the office.

At about 4:45 p.m., another phone call was made, this time saying: “I placed the paper bag next to the ATM. It will blow up at around 4:55 p.m.” The caller demanded that 50 million yen be placed on top of a car in the branch’s parking lot, police said.

Police summoned to the scene took the bag to a police laboratory to determine its contents: a metal box filled with sand.