National / Crime & Legal

14-year-old boy confesses to slashing schoolgirl's throat in northeastern Japan

Kyodo, JIJI

A 14-year-old boy who was arrested for allegedly slashing an elementary school girl in Aomori Prefecture has admitted to attacking her with murderous intent, police said Wednesday.

The suspect told the police that he “intended to kill” the sixth-grader in the city of Hachinohe. “It didn’t matter who it was,” the boy was quoted as saying by an investigative source.

The police said they had seized several knives, including one believed to have been used in the attack, from his home and other locations.

The girl, who was taken to a nearby hospital after the Tuesday incident, is conscious and able to speak, according to the police.

The police believe the incident was a random attack because the junior high school boy and the elementary school girl do not appear to know each other.

Police do not release the names of minors under arrest.

According to the police, the boy is suspected of attempting to kill the girl on a street by approaching her from behind and slashing her in the front of her neck with a knife when she was walking home alone from school at around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday.

The assault left her with a gash about 10 centimeters long and 1 cm deep near her throat, which will require three weeks to heal, the police said.

The girl told her family of the incident after returning home by herself. Wearing a white jacket and black pants, the suspect walked close to the girl and fled on foot after attacking her, the police said. The police confiscated clothes that were consistent with the girl’s description from locations including the suspect’s home.

Several security cameras caught images of a male the girl said resembled the person who had assaulted her.

Police arrested the boy after questioning him. He was found in the city wearing different clothes than those worn by the attacker when the incident occurred.

An official at Hachinohe’s board of education said the suspect had caused no trouble at his school, and that he had shown no signs of intending to carry out an attack.

Hachinohe’s local government had warned residents about a suspicious man seen Thursday evening following children near the location of the attack, a residential area 2 kilometers from Konakano Station.

Authorities are investigating whether the boy may have been involved in that case as well.