• Kyodo


The parents of a 7-year-old girl who was killed during a rampage at her elementary school in Osaka Prefecture in 2001 will publish a book Tuesday about their experiences, calling for more support for crime victims’ families.

Tuesday marks the girl’s birthday.

“I am glad that we can give the book, which represents our thoughts for our daughter, to her as a present,” said Hajime Sakai, whose daughter, Maki, was killed along with seven other students by a man who entered their school with a knife on June 8, 2001.

The book, titled “Hanzai Higaishientowa Nanika” (What is Support for Crime Victims?), is coauthored by Sakai and his wife, Chie, as well as Tetsuya Kuraishi, an assistant professor at the graduate school of Mukogawa Women’s University, and Satoshi Ikeno, an assistant professor at Kwansei Gakuin University.

The book describes how the couple recovered from their psychological pain in the three years since losing their daughter and includes analyses by Kuraishi and Ikeno. It calls for the establishment of a full-fledged system to support the families of crime victims.

The Sakais said they wanted to publish the book because they did not want their daughter to have died for nothing. Paintings by their daughter are included in the book.

“The first thing that victims’ families want is to know the truth,” Sakai said, adding that investigating authorities should disclose more information to the families.

“In order for the whole society to take part in tackling the issue of support (for victims’ families), I hope the book will be read by many people,” he said.

Support in their daily lives, even such minor things as a female police officer helping them with laundry, was “extremely valuable in contributing to our recovery,” the Saais write in the book.

Finding out details about their daughter’s last moments from police investigations about three months later also helped to heal their pain, the book says.

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