A slayer in the school

TOKYO, JUNE 3. An 11-year-old schoolgirl has admitted to having killed her classmate with a box-cutter and said she plotted the slashing for days after receiving an offensive Internet message from the girl.

Lawyers have been questioning the sixth-grader in juvenile detention since Tuesday, when she allegedly led 12-year-old Satomi Mitarai to an empty classroom during their lunch hour, slit her neck and arms with a box-cutter, and left her to bleed to death.

A lawyer told a news conference that the 11-year-old suspect had come up with the idea while watching a murder-mystery show on television. The two girls had been friends and had frequently left notes on each other's home page bulletin board. But they fell out after Mitarai allegedly wrote something offensive, angering the suspect. The gruesome slaying rattled officials, teachers and parents at Okubo Elementary School, in Sasebo.

The incident has reinforced a rising trend in juvenile crimes and violence at schools in recent years that has eroded Japan's image as a safe haven.


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