• Kyodo

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A 19-year-old Japanese boy denied Tuesday that he intended to kill a woman that he and an 18-year-old Romanian boy stand accused of stabbing and robbing on a street in the western Tokyo suburb of Musashino last February.

The boy, whose identity is being withheld because he is a minor, entered a partially guilty plea at the opening of his trial before the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court.

The defendant apologized at the session presided over by Judge Chiiwa Kurasawa, but said he had no intention of killing Arisa Yamada, a 22-year-old part-time worker.

The two boys, who were arrested in March, are charged with murder and robbery for killing Yamada and stealing her purse, which contained about ¥10,000, in the Kichijoji district on Feb. 28.

Prosecutors sent the two boys to the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo Family Court. Under the law, those aged 19 or younger are first sent to a family court.

Judging that criminal proceedings were necessary, in April the family court sent them back to the prosecutors, who later indicted them.

The prosecution argued Tuesday that the Japanese boy intended to kill the woman, noting he had stabbed her with a knife after the Romanian boy had done so first.

The boy’s lawyer insisted that the Romanian was the main culprit and that his client had no intention of killing the victim.

The Romanian boy’s trial is scheduled to start at the same court on Feb. 19.

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