The Public Outing Of Young Killers

Ryota Uemura murdered in Kawasaki
One week ago police in Kawasaki arrested three youths over the murder of a 13-year-old boy, Ryota Uemura, whose naked body was found on the bank of the Tama River in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Feb 20.

The three suspects are aged 18, 17 and 17, TBS reported. The 18-year-old told police he was the one responsible for the murder of Ryota Uemura, while the two 17-year-olds denied any involvement in the boy’s death, but that they held him down while the 18 year old beat him. They were identified through street surveillance camera footage that showed them and other teenagers walking with Uemura toward the spot where he was murdered. Footage showed them walking back without Uemura.

They burned Uemura's clothing in a public toilet at the park he was murdered in.  Then the young men left the park laughing and high-fiving each other.  They claim to be members of a gang the 18 year old heads.

On Wednesday, a local blog in Kawasaki outed the murderers of Uemura.  Prosecutors in Kawasaki say there is nothing they can do because the blog is not covered under the law, and in 2007 the Japanese Supreme Court refused to hold bloggers and social networks to the Media Control Law which gives a criminal sentence for the media outing people under 20 of their crimes.

Uemura's killers

In the above picture is Left: Higuchi Toshio, Center: Funahashi Ryuichi, Right: Shibayama Kazuya.  These are the three accused of the murder of Uemura.

One week ago, the weekly Shukan Shincho outed the murderer of Tomoko Mori in Nagoya.  The 19 year old young woman is Ohuchi Maria a student of Nagoya University.  The weekly even named the apartment building (White 711, in Showa Ward) Ohuchi left Mori's dead body after hacking her to death with a hatchet.

Ohuchi Maria murdered Tomoko Mori

During questioning Ohuchi told police she wanted to kill Mori for preaching to her to join the Jehovah Witness and that she wanted to "feel the thrill of murdering someone".
 
Whether one agrees with the Media Control Law or not it seems that many people of Japan see a need to out the killers.  One man commented on the blog outing Ohuchi, "If you can consent to sex at 19 legally then you need be held accountable for crimes and shamed publicly like any other adult."

Charles Gannon

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