• Kyodo

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A 17-year-old boy arrested earlier this month for stabbing his high school teacher said he did so because he thought it would help him escape another youth who kept extorting money from him, it was learned Tuesday.

The youth, of Toyo, Ehime Prefecture, was arrested for stabbing the 51-year-old teacher in the neck on Sept. 4.

Police sources said the youth told investigators he had been continuously threatened by an 18-year-old boy.

The suspect said that by getting arrested and placed in a corrective institution, he would be able to avoid further contact with his tormentor, according to police.

On Tuesday, Ehime police arrested the 18-year-old for allegedly extorting some 720,000 yen from the student between January and August. He has basically owned up to the charges, police said.

The student initially told police that he stabbed his teacher out of anger after he was scolded for reading a comic book during class.

However, he later said he lied because he was afraid to name the youth who was harassing him, police said. He had no grudge against any of his teachers but chose to stab one he considered to be kind and nice, police quoted him as saying.

Investigators said the two youths were classmates during elementary and junior high school. Apart from extorting money, the older boy often ordered the high school student to wash his shoes and wake him up in the morning, according to police.

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