The murder of a 13-year-old boy in Kawasaki leaves many people wondering why his life could not have been saved, especially given the fact that he had been previously assaulted by the suspected killer and that the police were aware of it. Educators, local government officials and police officers need to reflect deeply about what could have been done to prevent Uemura’s death, and what must be done to prevent similar crimes in the future.

The body of Ryota Uemura was found naked on the bank of Tama River on Feb. 20, with multiple knife wounds in the neck and other areas. Traces of his burned clothing were found nearby. A week later, police arrested an 18-year-old boy, who is believed to be the principal offender, and two 17-year-olds.

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