• Kyodo


In a move certain to stir controversy over the protection of the rights of minors, a weekly magazine has published the real name and youth photo of a man who, as a teen in 1997, killed two children in Kobe.

The article, published in Monday’s issue of the Shukan Post, details how the man, now 32 and known as Seito Sakakibara, committed his crimes and his current state of mind. The article is accompanied with an analysis by crime experts.

The magazine said publishing his name as well as his photo from that time “can be justified because this is a matter of public concern.”

The slayings shocked the nation. The 14-year-old perpetrator attacked five elementary school pupils, killing Ayaka Yamashita, 10, and Jun Hase, 11.

Infamously, Sakakibara left Hase’s decapitated head on the front gate of a junior school with a defiant note stuffed in the victim’s mouth.

The man left a juvenile reformatory in 2005 and recently grabbed attention by publishing “Zekka,” his memoir of the 1997 killings.

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