• Kyodo


A clinical psychotherapist on Tuesday urged Mamoru Takuma, who was sentenced to death last month over an elementary school massacre in Osaka Prefecture in 2001, to appeal the ruling to a higher court.

Hirokazu Hasegawa, 44, had asked Takuma’s lawyers to let him see the death-row convict at the Osaka Detention House to try to convince him to seek an appeal.

He also urged Takuma, 39, to apologize to the victims and their families.

Following his meeting with Takuma, Hasegawa was quoted by Shigeki Todani, chief of the defense team, as saying that Takuma “sincerely listened to what I said.”

It was the first time for Takuma to meet with anyone other than his lawyers since his arrest June 8, 2001.

Takuma killed eight children and injured 13 others and two teachers during a stabbing rampage at Ikeda Elementary School in Osaka Prefecture earlier that day.

He reportedly told his lawyers that he would not appeal the death sentence handed down Aug. 28 by the Osaka District Court, which dismissed defense arguments for an acquittal or leniency on the grounds of mental incompetence.

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