I was stunned reading the article “14-year-old boy admits slashing girl’s throat” in the Nov. 14 edition, not only because it was committed by a junior high school boy but also because I felt responsibility as a member of this society.
Of course, the schoolgirl is a victim of this incident because she was attacked with a knife. However, we should think about the core of the incident as well. How could a 14-year-old boy turn into random attacker on his own? There must be have been some environmental factor that shaped his character.
It is also possible that he had a cognitive distortion because of his environment. The board of education said that the boy had shown no signs of intending to carry out an attack. I think that’s a key point. He might not have committed the crime if he had had some support.
Those who read the article might take this incident as someone else’s affair. However, it is our affair because society ignored him. He is a hidden victim.
As a member of this society, we should be sure not to miss any signs of need for help or support, especially from younger people. This will help create a better society.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.