CHIBA – The 24-year-old suspect in the murder of a man on a street in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, on Monday is believed to have posted a profile online in which he identified himself as a “celeb NEET,” meaning a celebrity without a job, according to local online news site J-Cast News.
The service quoted the profile, which was accompanied by a photo resembling the suspect, Seiju Takei, who was arrested late Wednesday, as saying, “I am a 24-year-old celeb NEET (not in education, employment or training).”
Takei is under arrest on suspicion of fatally stabbing Hiroya Ikema, 31, who lived in the same apartment building, and robbing another man of money in Kashiwa.
Takei on Thursday told police he is unemployed and lives on welfare and financial support from his parents.
On Wednesday, he admitted to a series of assaults on the street, including the fatal stabbing.
According to police, Takei didn’t know Ikema, a company employee, and said he wanted to rob people of money.
Based on a statement made during voluntary questioning, police found a knife believed used in the attack in a search of Takei’s home.
Ikema sustained several stab wounds to the neck and back.
At a news conference on Thursday, police investigator Hiroyoshi Shinozuka said Takei had been cooperative during the interrogation and confessed to the stabbings, though “he has not apologized” for his act.
“We haven’t confirmed yet whether the knife was used as the weapon (in the assaults),” police officials said.
Meanwhile, on Thursday morning bouquets of flowers were placed at the site of Ikema’s murder.
“I’m glad that the case has been solved so quickly,” said 65-year-old office worker Akira Takayasu, who lives nearby. “I was surprised, though, that the two lived in the same building. That’s sickening.”
An 11-year-old elementary school student said she felt relieved that she could once again go outside.
“I want to play (with my friends),” the fifth-grader said.
On Thursday afternoon, the municipal board of education dropped the alert it had issued to schools and parents after the attacks.
On Tuesday, the board urged residents to beef up patrols near schools and instructed elementary school students to walk to school in groups.
At around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Takei, in sweatshirt and sweatpants and surrounded by officers, was taken from Kashiwa Police Station to the Chiba Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Police said Takei’s mental competence would be assessed to determine if he can be held criminally liable. He occasionally cried under interrogation, and some of his responses were unconnected to the questions, police said.
Takei was also quoted as saying he was “dissatisfied with society,” police said.
During the 10-minute rampage, a man on a bicycle was slashed in the left hand at around 11:36 p.m., according to the police. Immediately after that, Ikema was stabbed in the neck and back.
A third man was robbed of his wallet and the assailant then drove off in the car of a fourth man who got out to help Ikema. The assaults occurred in a residential area of Kashiwa, about 30 km from downtown Tokyo.
The suspect lives on the fourth floor of the same apartment building as Ikema, located about 20 meters from the crime scene, the sources said.
Providing an account of the assaults as a witness to a Kyodo News reporter Tuesday night, Takei said, “When I looked at the street from my room, I saw the perpetrator straddling Mr. Ikema and stabbing him over and over again.”