• Kyodo


The father of a 16-year-old boy who allegedly set his home in Nara Prefecture on fire in June, killing his stepmother and two siblings, gave details Wednesday of their conversation at a detention home where the boy apologized for the incident.

The father, Motoyoshi Yoshikawa, 47, told his son during their July 13 meeting that he plans to share the blame with him, prompting the boy to burst into tears and apologize, according to notes from the meeting the father disclosed through the boy’s lawyer.

The notes are the father’s first disclosure of his feelings about the case.

The lawyer said the father, who is a doctor, decided to meet his son for the first time since the killings to see if news reports that he wasn’t showing any remorse were indeed true.

However, asked in the meeting about his feelings on the deaths of his stepmother, Minka Yoshikawa, brother Yoshiki, 7, and sister, Yumin, 5, the boy, whose name has not been released because he is a minor, said: “I am sorry. I did a really terrible thing to them. Please offer them flowers every day for me,” according to the notes.

They also showed the boy, who has told police that he wanted to kill his father, apologized numerous times.

Investigators suspect the boy’s concern over his academic performance and pressure from his father prompted him to commit the crime. The boy had told classmates that his father would hit him as soon as his grades started to decline.

According to the notes, the father told the boy: “I am sorry I beat you. You didn’t want to stay at home because I was always observing you, did you?” and the boy nodded in tears.

“I will not tell you to study anymore. I will live with you bearing the guilt until death and will support you as much as I can,” the father said, according to the notes.

The father also wrote down his thoughts on the meeting.

“Following the arrest, perhaps he has lost hope and thought it would all be the same no matter what he does, but he showed remorse” at the time of the visit, he wrote.

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