National

Special controls on teen killer set to stay in place

Kyodo

A 13-year-old boy who killed a 4-year-old boy last year will remain under strict control at a special detention facility even after a court-mandated one-year period expires, sources said Friday.

The decision, made by a child consultation center in Nagasaki and other authorities, is in accordance with a ruling handed down last year by the Nagasaki Family Court.

The boy, whose name has been withheld because he is a minor, is believed to have lured Shun Tanemoto away from a store on July 1 last year, escorted him to an eight-story parking structure in a shopping arcade about 4 km away and pushed him off the top level to his death. The victim’s naked body was found the following day.

The boy is kept in his own room at the reformatory, which is designed to help children adapt to society, according to the sources.

The court decided Sept. 29 to send the boy to the facility in Saitama Prefecture — the only one in Japan that can keep children under lock and key — for one year.

It said it would decide whether to continue this treatment in consultation with relevant authorities upon the expiration of the period in question.

At the Saitama facility, psychiatrists and experts in other fields create programs designed to rehabilitate each inmate.

The child consultation office will soon apply for permission from the court to extend the measures, the sources said.

The authorities have apparently concluded that they need to prolong the boy’s treatment because his mental and physical problems have not been fully resolved.

In its ruling, the family court concluded on the basis of a report compiled by experts that the boy suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder that prevents him from successfully interacting with people.

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