• Staff Report


Major book distributor Tohan Corp. has ranked a book by a former juvenile serial killer as its best-seller for last week.

The book, titled “Zekka,” was written by Seito Sakakibara, who is now 32 and whose real name has not been revealed.

Sakakibara killed two children and wounded three others in Kobe in 1997 — a heinous spree that terrorized the nation and triggered calls for tighter punishment for underage offenders.

His book, which was published on June 11, includes descriptions of how he felt when he committed the crimes. Tohan Corp. announced it was a best-seller on Tuesday.

Publication of the book has stirred controversy as stores weigh whether to stock it. For example, Keibundo, which has 38 bookstores in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, said Monday it does not plan to sell the book or accept orders for it, after considering the feelings of the victims’ next of kin.

Mamoru Hase, the father of one of the victims, Jun Hase, has criticized the publisher, Ota Publishing Co., and called for the book’s withdrawal.

Information from Kyodo added