• Kyodo


The Nagasaki Family Court on Monday sent a 12-year-old boy who killed a 4-year-old boy in July to a special facility designed to help children adapt to society.

After assessing a psychiatric report on the boy submitted earlier this month, presiding Judge Hiroko Ito said special restrictions will be placed on the boy at the facility for the maximum one year, according to a court official. The session was not open to the public.

Later in the day, the boy arrived at the facility, in Saitama.

The court can order movement to be restricted in such cases where it decides a minor will have difficulty in adjusting to communal living and is mentally unstable and may run away or become violent. The facility has a resident psychiatrist.

Based on the report, the court said the boy suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder that prevents him from successfully interacting with people, but that this had no bearing on his crime.

It also said the suspect suffered mental stress since entering junior high school and from conflicts between his parents.

He will be moved to an open facility when the court deems that no further treatment is necessary, although the period of treatment may be extended should officials at the facility request it.

One of the boy’s lawyers told a news conference, “We think the decision is reasonable and hope he will be reformed after receiving appropriate treatment there.”

They added that the boy has no plans to file an appeal.

The boy, a junior high school student whose name has been withheld because he is a minor, abducted Shun Tanemoto on July 1 and took him to the roof of an eight-story parking garage in Nagasaki, where he undressed the child before throwing him from the roof.

As the boy is under 14, he cannot be put on trial in a criminal court or be sent to a juvenile reformatory.

The hearing took place for about two hours in the morning and continued for about 10 minutes in the afternoon after a lunch break, the official said.

In attendance were the boy, his parents and their lawyer, he said.

During a family court session last week, the parents of Shun Tanemoto said they wanted the strictest punishment possible for the perpetrator.

“The pain of getting through the days is unbearable,” they said, adding that while they want the killer sentenced to death, they are also aware this is impossible.

“We would like to see the strictest form of punishment possible” for the 12-year-old suspect, they were quoted as telling the court.

Tanemoto’s family has had access to the results of psychiatric tests and interrogations of the boy since he was taken into custody. They had asked for an opportunity to directly voice their sentiments to the court.

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