• Kyodo

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A 12-year-old boy has admitted stabbing a woman on a street in Sapporo over the weekend because he “wanted to hurt someone,” the police said.

The first-year junior high school student was questioned after a woman in her 20s was seriously injured Saturday evening in an attack that is being treated as a case of attempted murder.

The police contacted a child consultation center, which provisionally took the boy into custody. In Japan, minors under the age of 14 are not held criminally responsible for crimes they commit.

The boy also told the police that he had imagined “someone dying, or killing someone,” investigators familiar with the case said.

The police searched the boy’s home and seized packaging for a kitchen knife that was found at the scene of the crime. The boy said he stole the knife from a shop about a month ago.

The woman was stabbed in the back with a kitchen knife shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday while walking home. Her injuries will require one to two months to heal.

After examining surveillance video, the police spotted the boy in a shopping complex Sunday near scene of the crime and questioned him on a voluntary basis because he resembled the suspect.

According to footage from several security cameras, the boy apparently followed the victim out of the shopping complex, which is several hundred meters away from the crime scene.

After they complete their investigation, the police are expected to turn the boy’s case over to the child consultation center.

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