A Japanese teenager was murdered by another teenager, and wounds to his neck suggest that his murderer was trying to decapitate him, Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting.
The naked body of 13-year-old Ryota Uemura was found near the banks of a river in Kawasaki, an industrial city about 30 miles south of Tokyo, on Friday. A knife used in the murder was found nearby.
Ryota’s neck had been chopped at repeatedly. The structure and location of the wounds suggested that his murderer was trying to behead him, tabloid magazine Shukan Shincho reports, via Sky News Australia.
“Some investigators suspect [the murderer(s)] watched internet videos showing the execution of hostages by Islamic State fighters and sought to mimic them.”
Two Japanese nationals, journalist Kenji Goto and his friend Haruna Yukawa, were beheaded by ISIS militants in Syria on January 30, according to this Inquisitr report.
An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Ryota’s murder, although his name has not been released because he is technically a juvenile. Arrest warrants have been issued for two other teenagers, also in connection with Uemura’s murder. Japan Today reports that three young men were part of a gang, of which the 18-year-old was the leader.
According to Japan’s national broadcasting service NHK, Ryota had been assaulted by his killer(s) before. He had also posted on a message app, LINE, that he feared he was going to be killed.
Crime is rare in Japan, and murder is exceptionally rare, according to Business Insider. Japan’s murder rate is less than one per every 100,000 people; by comparison, the murder rate in the United States is 4.8 per 100,000. One of the highest murder rates in the world belongs to Belize, with 44.7 murders per 100,000.
Despite the nation’s low crime rate, teenage boys in Japan are often victimized by their peers in a culture of bullying, according to Japan Times. Bullying through physical violence is common, though often not reported to authorities, and suicide among bullied teens remains a concern of the Japanese government.
Ryota Uemura’s murder has captivated the Asian nation, with the press feverishly reporting on every development in the case.