OSAKA — The man arrested in Friday’s fatal stabbing of eight children at an elementary school in Osaka Prefecture made a huge number of prank calls to his former wife, his former adoptive mother and a man in Hyogo Prefecture, police sources revealed Tuesday.

Mamoru Takuma, 37, began making the calls almost daily starting around May 1999 through mid-May this year, sometimes more than 10 a day, the sources said.

He called late at night, saying “I’ll kill you,” “I will take your life by .22 caliber,” or “I won’t be held responsible for anything I do because I have a mental illness,” the sources said, adding he had made more than 1,000 calls a year.

Takuma filed a lawsuit without the aid of a lawyer against his former wife, saying she illegally divorced him. He reportedly said the divorce should be nullified because it was decided “while he was suffering from a mental illness, and thus, had no sound judgment,” the sources said.

He was divorced from his wife in June 1998.

For a month afterward, Takuma repeatedly threw stones at his ex-wife’s house and followed her family by car, the police said, adding that he was also believed to have distributed defamatory leaflets about her.

As for the male acquaintance from Hyogo, Takuma resented him because he rejected Takuma’s request to help restore his relationship with his wife.

The man filed a complaint against Takuma with police after he threw stones at the windows of his office. Takuma was subsequently arrested, the sources said.

Takuma, who registered himself as the son of a female acquaintance from 1995 to 1997, also threw stones at her house after she dissolved his adoption, the sources said.

According to police, Takuma has admitted to committing Friday’s killings at Osaka Kyoiku University Ikeda Elementary School in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, saying he attacked the children so he could receive the death penalty. Fifteen others were injured during the incident.

Police are investigating the stabbing spree and suspect that Takuma was in a state of desperation due to a series of problems.

Ikeda Elementary School is attached to state-run Osaka Kyoiku University.

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