View Full Version : 11 year old Japanese schoolgirl slashes classmate dead!

Carte Blanche
June 3, 2004, 03:17 PM
By George Nishiyama

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese media have turned to the Internet as a culprit in the shocking killing of a 12-year-old girl by her classmate this week, as trouble over messages posted on a Web site emerged as a possible motive.

The 11-year-old girl who killed Satomi Mitarai by slashing her throat at their primary school in southern Japan on Tuesday told police she killed her friend because she was angry about a message posted on a Web site, newspapers said.

Media reports on Thursday said both girls had their own Web sites and took part in online chatrooms, the use of which is proliferating in Japan even among primary school students.

The Internet has already become a part of life for Japanese children. Almost all public schools have access to the Web and government data shows that over 60 percent of children aged between six and 12 use the Internet.

Experts say communicating via the Internet can stimulate emotional reactions and warn that users should take extra care not needed in face-to-face conversations.

"When you talk with your friends in the classroom, you look at their faces. So you can tell if they're serious or joking, or angry or laughing, from their expressions or tone of voice," the Internet Association Japan, a non-profit organization, says in its "Rules and Manners for Children using the Internet."

"But with the Internet, you can't hear your friends' voices or see their faces... What you wrote as a joke can make your friend angry."

Media said the 11-year-old had told investigators she asked Satomi not to write messages about her appearance on an Internet bulletin board, but that her friend had refused to stop.


Satomi died from loss of blood after her classmate slashed her throat with a knife during the lunch break on Tuesday at their school in Sasebo, 980 km (610 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

"I tried to blindfold her with a towel, but she refused, so I covered her eyes with my hand," Kyodo news agency quoted the girl as telling investigators.

Some experts, however, said the Internet was being wrongly blamed for what is the latest in a series of high-profile juvenile crimes that have shocked Japan and forced it to search for answers.

"It is true that the Internet can be a factor in increasing emotional reactions, but the more basic problem is that of an inability to communicate skillfully with another human being," said Tatsuo Inamasu, a professor at Tokyo's Hosei University.

"The reports say that the trigger was a comment on the Internet, but there must have been a lot that went before."

Inamasu, who specializes in media studies, also said many parents and teachers put the blame on computers as they do not understand well how to use them.

"I don't think we can blame computers for causing a murder."

The 11-year-old will appear before a family court, which could send her to a special reformatory. Children under 14 cannot be prosecuted in Japan. (Additional reporting by Linda Sieg)

Carte Blanche
June 3, 2004, 03:18 PM
I think I should really watch what I post here from now on :o

June 3, 2004, 04:09 PM
Well, that's why we have emotion cons here, to convey emotions. The more we have these, the better, pass the right signals, yeah. They must use them in Japan? I am surprised.:)

Excuse me for asking Carte- but where do you get your news from, lately that is. Could,nt figure out the source?:)

[Edited on 3-6-2004 by oracle]

[Edited on 3-6-2004 by oracle]