National

Drunken teen girl held in random stabbing

Kyodo

A high school girl was arrested Friday after randomly stabbing a man on the street in Fukumitsu, Toyama Prefecture, in a fit of drunken anger, according to police.

Police said the 15-year-old girl stabbed Hiroyuki Honda, a 21-year-old security guard, in the back with a kitchen knife at a town festival. They said they are treating it as a case of attempted murder.

Police also arrested the girl’s school friend, also 15, who was standing next to her when the attack occurred.

The girl who allegedly stabbed Honda was quoted as telling investigators: “I got irritated. It could have been anyone, and I didn’t care if the victim died.”

They said the girl suddenly stabbed Honda as he walked past, and remained silent during the attack. After stabbing Honda once, the girl threw away the knife and left the scene with the other girl, they said.

She was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the stabbing, according to police.

The girls were arrested on a street about 1 km from the scene of the stabbing. The two are sophomore classmates at a high school in the prefecture.

The other girl said she had no intention of killing the man, they said.

Kevlar kids’ coats?

Reuters They may not look cool, but knife-resistant kid’s sweat shirts and coats are the latest products aimed at providing parental peace of mind in a Japan horrified by a series of gruesome attacks on children.

The sweat shirts, and coats that look like plain waterproofs, are made from the same fibers used in police and military knife-proof and bulletproof vests, according to the maker, Madre.

“We created this product so children would be OK, even if they went off to play by themselves,” said a spokesman for Madre, a provider of child day-care services before it added protective clothing to its portfolio earlier this year.

The clothing, sold only through the company’s Web site, www.defense.to, isn’t cheap, at 46,095 yen for the coat and from 40,950 yen for the sweat shirt. They come in 12 colors and can be embroidered with initials or other slogans.

Japan has always prided itself on its low crime rate, but concern over child safety has grown after a series of crimes involving children.

An intruder wielding a knife murdered eight pupils and wounded others and teachers as well in an Osaka elementary school in December 2003 and an 11-year-old schoolgirl murdered a classmate in June by slashing her throat.

Earlier this month, a Japanese software firm unveiled chip-embedded student ID cards that alert parents via e-mail when children arrive at and leave school.

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