Weekly magazine Shukan Shincho has taken the unusual step for the second straight month of publishing the name and photo of a minor arrested for murder.
In the March 5 issue, the magazine published the name and a photo of the 18-year-old youth suspected of murdering a 13-year-old boy in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Feb 20.
The suspect, as well as two 17-year-old boys under arrest, are minors under the Japanese Juvenile Law, which means media cannot identify suspects under 20 by name or publish their photos. However, their photos, names and even addresses have been circulating on social media for the past week.
Last month, Shukan Shincho also published the name, photos and other details of a 19-year-old girl accused of killing a 77-year-old woman with a hatchet in Nagoya.
On Thursday, Shukan Shincho released the same statement as it did last month, stating that the magazine published the suspect's name and photo because they felt it important that the public know about this particularly brutal case.
In recent years, there has been an increase in violent crimes committed by minors, leading many media commentators to debate the legal taboo over publishing their names.
NHK quoted a psychologist as saying that the privacy of juvenile suspects needs to be protected -- no matter how serious the alleged crime -- otherwise the rehabilitation process will be hampered.© Japan Today