• SHARE

OSAKA — The parents of three 7-year-old girls fatally stabbed in a killing spree in June 2001 at an elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, called Thursday for the defendant to be sentenced to death.

The father of Kana Tsukamoto told the Osaka District Court that they want Mamoru Takuma to “pay for the crime with his life” and described his very existence as a “social ill.”

He also blasted Takuma’s lawyers for seeking another psychological examination.

“If this man, following results of a re-examination, returns to society and kills someone, how will the lawyers take responsibility for it?” he asked from the witness stand.

The girl’s mother added, “If I think of how Kana suffered such a horrible thing, I cannot forgive the defendant.”

Lawyers have requested that the names of the victims’ families not be printed.

Thursday’s session, the 18th in Takuma’s trial, marked the first time victims’ families have told the court their views. They were questioned by prosecutors at the last hearing in October. The trial began in December 2001.

The father of Yuki Hongo told the court, “I have no other words for this man other than ‘Die.’ “

Her mother added, “My sorrow was so deep that I could no longer feel anger.”

Another father told the court, “I want him to atone (for the crime) through death because I do not believe that he can change the way he is.”

Meanwhile, presiding Judge Masayuki Kawaai said the results of a re-examination Takuma is undergoing are expected to be submitted as early as next week and made public at the next court session March 13.

On June 8, 2001, a knife-wielding Takuma stormed into the Osaka Kyoiku University Ikeda Elementary School, stabbed seven girls and one boy to death and injured 13 other children and two teachers, according to the indictment.

Takuma, 39, pleaded guilty to the charges. He has a record of psychiatric treatment and appeared to be mentally unstable immediately after his arrest.

Prosecutors maintain, however, that he can be held accountable for the crimes. Takuma earlier told the court he would not contest their claim.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW