crime

Police arrest 3 youths over murder of Kawasaki boy

71 Comments

Police on Friday arrested three youths over the murder of a 13-year-old boy 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 doesn't want to talk about the murder of Ryota Uemura, while the two 17-year-olds denied any involvement in the boy's death. 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.

An autopsy revealed that Uemura was killed at around 2 a.m. on Feb 20. He had been stabbed several times in the neck, face and arms. Police found a blood-stained box cutter not too far from the body, which was one of the weapons. The victim’s clothes and shoes had been burned in a nearby public toilet.

Populist weekly Shukan Shincho reported the wounds appeared to indicate that whoever killed Uemura may have been trying to decapitate him.

"Some investigators suspect the criminals watched Internet videos showing the execution of hostages by Islamic State (IS) fighters and sought to mimic them," the magazine said, quoting an unnamed source close to police.

Police believe the 18-year-old was the ringleader of a gang of older boys and girls that Uemura began hanging out with last November. Uemura told a friend that when he refused to shoplift for the group, they began beating him up.

Uemura sent a message to a girl he knew on the instant messaging app Line in January, saying he might be killed soon by the gang.

Police have also learned that Uemura seldom went to school after the New Year holidays in January. A female teacher visited the boy’s home five times but no one was home. She also called the home more than 30 times and was only able to speak to Uemura once — on Feb 16. She told him there was an exam coming up and he had to attend. Uemura said he would but never showed up at school again.

Uemura's mother, who works a night shift as a nurse, said her son was home when she left after dinner on Feb 19. Japanese media quoted police Friday as saying they believe Uemura went out later that night after receiving a message on his cell phone from one of the gang, although investigators have been unable to find his mobile device. Police are now checking the phones belonging to the three suspects to see if they were in contact with Uemura that night.

Meanwhile, there has been a steady stream of visitors, placing flowers and offering prayers for Uemura at the murder scene.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


71 Comments
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So sad. RIP...and to the three cold blooded killers, fry in hell!

26 ( +31 / -5 )

So sad. RIP...and to the three cold blooded killers, fry in hell!

I'm surprised somebody gave you a thumbs down for this. Your sentiment is spot on.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Because these gutless animals are under 18, they will be coddled and protected - and free to go back to killing in a couple years. Disgusting.

22 ( +24 / -3 )

So the mother has a night shift nurse position... and maybe she has another part time job at noon or something to support her family....

To those people who jumped first accusing the mother of neglect or something even worse... shame on you!!!

16 ( +19 / -4 )

I hope they catch everyone involved, and they are dealt with appropriately. I'm not convinced that only 3 people were involved in the killing. If they were watching, they were involved.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

On the news this morning they were saying they had arrested two, and were looking for the third, who was expected to come in later today. This article is saying they got one, and are looking for two. Seems to be a bit of a discrepancy there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They will be out from their comfortable youth detention center in a few years seeing as Japan refuses to treat people aged 18 as "adult". I hope they get taken out by a rival gang when that happens.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

if poor in money and emotional quotient, please just look after yourself and don't propagate lives you cannot nurture and protect

-16 ( +1 / -16 )

This murder highlights a number of rising social problems in Japan, not least of which is the home life of single parent households, most of which are led by single mothers, many of whom are either impoverished or under tremendous job pressure. Here is a case where it appears the mother must leave a 13 year old boy at home to work the night shift. It's likely that her salary is too low to afford to have someone come stay at nights, and babysitting is not such a common practice in Japan. The present administration affords a great deal of time and money for hosting sporting events, international terrorist issues and how to militarize the country and far too little is done to address serious domestic problems.

18 ( +24 / -7 )

So far, only one has been arrested. Two more are expected to be arrested before the end of the day.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

God, just a little boy who fell in with the wrong crowd, and had the good sense to realize that nothing good would come of it, and tried to escape. And he was executed for it? The youths who killed him are evil, evil, evil.

I have no words.

16 ( +16 / -1 )

Japanese media quoted police Friday as saying they believe Uemura went out later that night after receiving a message on his cell phone from one of the gang, although investigators have been unable to find his mobile device.

Why would they need the mobile phone? If they know the carrier then their servers should contain a copy of the message - although it might have been deleted by now.

I know that in most countries one of the first thing police do during a murder investigation is to phone the cellphone company, give them the victim's cellphone number and say, "Please give us any and all records relating to any activity on this phone.", because it often provides information like GPS data, emails, what websites they visited, who they called, etc.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

The 18y.o who has been arrested is half American, watch how the J news bang the gaijin drum ;o( Very sad story R>I>P little man.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why would they need the mobile phone? If they know the carrier then their servers should contain a copy of the message

1) Not if it's an iphone (I don't know about other brands). All iMessages are encrypted between devices, and cannot be read by anyone in the middle.

2) The message was sent through Line, which also encrypts messages between devices. So again, they cannot be read by anyone in the middle.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Oh that poor boy, what a terrible few months of fear and suffering, and an awful death. It's impossible to imagine.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

so much for the social safety net my taxes support,,, oh that's right I pay more so Toyota and Abe's stooges can get even richer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Must say, this crime is a sad one and very disturbing, but none the less is a rare crime... it is so highly profiled because it is rare

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The juvenile law should be abolished.

3 ( +8 / -4 )

This murder highlights a number of rising social problems in Japan, not least of which is the home life of single parent households, most of which are led by single mothers, many of whom are either impoverished or under tremendous job pressure.

Spot on. And who are often forced to get jobs in 'mizushoubai' to supplement their miserable earnings, thereby having even less time to spend at home....

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

News popped up as a special with a beeping sound a bit after 11 am this morning. The police were going to go after the other too shortly aftwards.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Such a terrible story. What's even more terrible is the judicial system. Since the suspects are under 20, they will do little time.

Abe needs to revamp the judicial system. Seriously.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Don't get too excited people! The cops have no evidence to support these little things actually killed him. They can only place them in the vicinity at the time of his death. Unless they can uncover some kind of forensic evidence they cannot charge these goons with his murder. Possibly, the thug's phones will give more information.

0 ( +5 / -6 )

Poor boy!!May You Rest In Peace!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

StrangerlandFeb. 27, 2015 - 01:49PM JST 1) Not if it's an iphone (I don't know about other brands). All iMessages are encrypted between devices, and cannot be read by anyone in the middle. 2) The message was sent through Line, which also encrypts messages between devices. So again, they cannot be read by anyone in the middle.

You're mistaken. There's still a lot of useful data that can be obtained with the carrier's cooperation, like the source and recipient of the message. These HAVE to be decoded by the provider to ensure that they go to the right place.

Or perhaps you believe that the phone number of the person who sent the message wouldn't be of interest to the police?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

They were identified through street surveillance camera footage

warning JapanToday users, your always being watched by big bother

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

He was MURDERED for doing the right thing. Not shoplifting. I'd say his parents brought him up responsibily. He knew right from wrong. The animals who MURDERED him are scum of the earth and Their parents have questionable morals.

6 ( +7 / -3 )

You're mistaken.

Really? Let's look at your first comment:

Why would they need the mobile phone? If they know the carrier then their servers should contain a copy of the message

And then your second comment:

There's still a lot of useful data that can be obtained with the carrier's cooperation, like the source and recipient of the message. These HAVE to be decoded by the provider to ensure that they go to the right place.

You shift the goalposts, and I'm mistaken? And let's just review my comment:

The message was sent through Line, which also encrypts messages between devices. So again, they cannot be read by anyone in the middle.

First, my comment addressed your original comment that they would have a copy of the message on the carrier's servers. And pray tell, what exactly is mistaken in my comment? When you claim I'm mistaken, are you claiming I'm mistaken that Line encrypts messages between devices? Or are you claiming that I'm mistaken that encrypted messages cannot be read by anyone in the middle?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Phone data aside...hopefully the police can get fingerprints and/or DNA from the scene.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because these gutless animals are under 18, they will be coddled and protected - and free to go back to killing in a couple years. Disgusting.

Actually as it's a murder case they are old enough that they won't receieve much protection from the family courts. They can stand for trial in an adult court if the prosecutor's office so decides (and it would be unusual if they didn't).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I believe japan juvenile law only protects children up to 14 years of age.

The killers will be served the justice they deserve.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Everyone tells me there is no hell. Until something like this.

Hell is too long. just beat these punks up. And send them to do the harder work at Fukushima! Why put them in a jail.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What is Japan coming to??? This is so so tragic. The poor kid probably knew he would not be coming back from the riverbank. But I would like to ask - where were all these people leaving flowers and messages and basketballs when Ryota really needed them? Far too much in Japan individuals are left to battle demons, literally and figuratively, by themselves.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I hope the police are right about arresting those three youths. Because in this age of computers the names of those three will eventually appear on the internet soon or later. And along with the names of the three youths their families will also be recognized in their towns. From then on there will be a hell of a lot to pay for them as well, like losing their businesses, and having to move to different towns on so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

i agree with crazyjoe...youth or not, they knew exactly what they were doing. give em a full life sentence in a cell with bubba.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

StrangerlandFeb. 27, 2015 - 01:49PM JST Why would they need the mobile phone? If they know the carrier then their servers should contain a copy of the message

So you think recovering the victim's phone is irrelevant in this case? Phones are always important to investigations and nearly always contain a great deal of information to piece together the life of the victim. Additionally location data etc logged by google and apple is supposedly anonymized.

Strangerland 2) The message was sent through Line, which also encrypts messages between devices. So again, they cannot be read by anyone in the middle.

Line messages are not encrypted, the phone signals can be encrypted, but if so it's a carrier based encryption and is reversible by the carrier. Line is not a secure messaging platform.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So you think recovering the victim's phone is irrelevant in this case?

1) Your quote says my name, and someone else's words.

2) I didn't say recovering the victim's phone is irrelevant, and on the contrary, they need it to be able to read the messages.

Line messages are not encrypted

Yes they are:

LINE encrypts 100% of our users’ messages, every message, every time—whether 3G, 4G, or even Wi-Fi. We encrypt each message using a secure algorithm, one recommended by the highest encryption authorities.

Link: http://developers.linecorp.com/blog/?p=2709

if so it's a carrier based encryption and is reversible by the carrier.

No, it's not carrier based encryption. Though the signal that the message is sent on is also encrypted. So the phone company can decrypt the data being sent through their system, but after doing so, the message itself still has the encryption that the Line application uses.

Line is not a secure messaging platform.

On the contrary, it is. See my link above.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I just hate hearing news about a group of people picking on one.

You'd think there'd be some kind of mechanism within them condemning themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

DisillusionedFeb. 27, 2015 - 02:57PM JST

Don't get too excited people! The cops have no evidence to support these little things actually killed him. They can only place them in the vicinity at the time of his death. Unless they can uncover some kind of forensic evidence they cannot charge these goons with his murder. Possibly, the thug's phones will give more information.

that's what two weeks of "interrogations" are for...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan needs to get serious about stopping gangs in Japan, the police seem to "accept them" as part of life, throw the book at this punks!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The "title" says :

Police arrest 3 youths over murder of Kawasaki boy

Did they or didn't they arrest all three ? Other posters seem to wonder if the police will find the "other two"... ? Or was the "title" recently updated ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Police arrested the 18-year-old first and then the two 17-year-olds later.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am glad these criminals were caught. They deserve to treated as adults for this crime, although we know this will not happen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"The animals who MURDERED him are scum of the earth and Their parents have questionable morals."

Hey, leave the murderers' parents out of it, they are probably as shocked as everyone else. The murderer kids are wholly responsible for their actions.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Uemura sent a message to a girl he knew on the instant messaging app Line in January, saying he might be killed soon by the gang.

What about that girl that got the Line message? Why didn't she tell someone? His death could have been prevented at that time.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

First off, the boys copied IS videos to do the murder. Japan's government has been so adamant about IS and terrorism since last month. They should take notice of this case which I consider an act of terrorism.

Secondly, to the person that released pictures of the suspects all over Twitter and the internet, I applaud you. The courts will highly likely give these boys a few years then protect them. It is better for everyone to know the faces of these punks and make their lives a living hell for the rest of their lives.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is a really appalling case imo and from the limited information we have access to here on the electronic internet it seems very premeditated, very sadistic and very, very heinous.

Trying to cut someone's head off with a box cutter?! It's like something out of a SAW movie fcs.

I feel for his mother and family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The terror the child must have felt when he was being attacked is hard to imagine, I do hope those responsible are dealt with. I feel for the mother who must be in so much pain over this senseless death.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Police arrest 3 youths over murder of Kawasaki boy

Personal opinion, these boys need to become an example for other would-be psychopaths.

But, overall sad!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@serrano - only trying to see ths difference in upbringing since some attacked the victim's upbringing. I feel the victim was murdered because he was moral as probably is his mother. On the other hand, the bullies learned this from somewhere.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is a really appalling case imo and from the limited information we have access to here on the electronic internet it seems very premeditated, very sadistic and very, very heinous.

Absolutely. It is a horrible case from start to finish. The kid had bruises on his face in January. Why the heck didn't his teachers, his friends, his parents go straight to the police? How can anyone stand by and let something like that continue or, worse yet, escalate.

It is unrelated, but when I was watching the report on TV talking about the bruises, I remember the high school kid from Osaka that was being beat on a regular basis, came home one night with bruises on his face and his lip cut and said to his mother, 'The teacher beat me good again today.' Did the mother call the police or even the school to complain? No. There were no complaints until the boy had killed himself very shortly after that.

I just cannot feature it. What goes through people's minds that they can stand by and let someone suffer?

As for these horrible criminals, the 18 year old's name has already been outed on youtube. He deserves to be known for the sadistic murderer that he is, as do the two others.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Exactly. His was beaten up and nobody did anything? Evidence of a shattered home life leading, quite possibly, to a life of future crime. He CHOSE those kids to hang out with. He KNEW the danger and advertised it. Yet, he told no one who could help him. Was he trying to impress the girl?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

StrangerlandFeb. 27, 2015 - 03:37PM JST You shift the goalposts, and I'm mistaken? And let's just review my comment:

The message was sent through Line, which also encrypts messages between devices. So again, they cannot be read by anyone in the middle.

You talk about shifting goalposts when you're the one doing it. You assume the message was sent on line, you assume they were using the "hidden chat" function, you assume they had both updated to the latest version.. your entire thing is based on a set of assumptions... and you're still wrong.

First, my comment addressed your original comment that they would have a copy of the message on the carrier's servers.

They would. Because transferring data is copying data. Clearly you don't understand how data is transferred.

And pray tell, what exactly is mistaken in my comment? When you claim I'm mistaken, are you claiming I'm mistaken that Line encrypts messages between devices? Or are you claiming that I'm mistaken that encrypted messages cannot be read by anyone in the middle?

The problem here is with your understanding of technology and encryption. You clearly don't understand how data transfer happens, and you don't understand that any encryption can be broken so there is no such thing as a message that "cannot be read", but rather "is normally just too much effort for an unknown reward".

So you're mistaken about the fundamental nature of data transfer and encryption in so many ways that it really is hard to know where to start in setting you straight.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Frungy and Strangerland, please stop bickering. Focus your comments on what is in the story and not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First off, the boys copied IS videos to do the murder. Japan's government has been so adamant about IS and terrorism since last month. They should take notice of this case which I consider an act of terrorism.

Just my opinion, but since there have been beheading's (Kobe 1997) and attempted beheadings (Sasebo 2014) in Japan by youths well before any IS videos, I think it is quite a leap to assume is was a IS 'copycat'

Anyway, I really hope they got the right suspects off the streets.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You assume the message was sent on line

How do you think they were sent, smoke signals?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thank you warispeace.

And folks, please don't call these thugs animals because they are lower than my three dogs and two cats.

This was all premeditated, and if the story about trying to decapitate is true, then fry them. I don't give a rat's a-- about them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@onagagamoFEB. 27, 2015 - 01:19PM JST They will be out from their comfortable youth detention center in a few years seeing as Japan refuses to treat people aged 18 as "adult". I hope they get taken out by a rival gang when that happens.

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Data please/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

if poor in money and emotional quotient, please just look after yourself and don't propagate lives you cannot nurture and protect

Despicable judgmental comment. Did it ever occur to you that 13 years ago she may have been in a better position? She was doing the best she could. No one voluntarily works nights leaving a 13 year old home alone. His mother did not cause this, and she obviously did a fairly good job, given that he refused to steal. The blame lies with these thugs, not his mother.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

so very very sad! i wish that boy had supervision. 13 is too young to be left to himself. RIP little one :-/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The blame lies with these thugs, not his mother.

I cannot say this more strongly. I agree 100%. What still concerns me is how no one around this boy managed to call the police when they saw him bruised. I don't understand how this could happen. I don't understand friends not telling anyone.

The criminal thugs should be put away for a very, very long time. It is my hope that more people learn to search out help, not only for themselves, but for their friends when they are in obvious trouble.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hope those three murderers get the death penalty.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

don't the heck tell me juvenile law will stop these 3 no-good-bums from getting the punishment they surely deserve?? their parents should be ashamed of themselve for raising up such monsters....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was surprised when the father of one of the suspects first made a comment in public, saying "I feel sorry for the murdered child, but my son did not do it." I'm sure the father did not want to believe what his son has done, but if I had committed the same crime, my parents would beat the hell out of me and send me wherever. I know that's not the right thing to do, but the father... I hope he feels sorry for the murdered child at least a little.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Xixilarz:

" don't the heck tell me juvenile law will stop these 3 no-good-bums from getting the punishment they surely deserve?? "

Alas, it will. We have seen this so many times before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Showing the innocent looking picture of this young wanna b thug is like showing a trevor martin 5th grade picture.

Let's look at reality here. The kid joined a gang. He was not so innocent even though he claimed to not want to shop lift.

The juveniles will get off.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Let's look at reality here. The kid joined a gang. He was not so innocent even though he claimed to not want to shop lift.

Can you point to any evidence whatsoever that this kid had done anything nefarious whatsoever with the gang? You seem quick to condemn, but I haven't seen anything that points at him having done anything bad whatsoever. And on the contrary, it seems he wasn't willing to do something even slightly bad like shoplifting. And while they are calling this a 'gang', it sounds more like a group of kids who got into some bad stuff, rather than an organized crime style gang like you see running drugs/guns etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JapanGal:

" Showing the innocent looking picture of this young wanna b thug is like showing a trevor martin 5th grade picture. Let's look at reality here. The kid joined a gang. He was not so innocent even though he claimed to not want to shop lift. "

That comment is so not fair. Unlike the Trevor Martin pictures, the photos of this kid were recent and not misleader. He really was a kid, he had just finished elementary school. And the photo with the black eye was only 1 month old. And while he had "joined" the gang, we know now that he was trying to get to school, but they did not let him. Did miss the TV reports showing the messages he sent to his class mates?

He was in a tough spot, from which he could not extricate himself. If you think it is easy for a kid to dis-entangle himself from a group like this, you are unrealistic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A very sad incident! And given the brutal methods of murder, the suspects, um, especially the young boss may have a problematic personality. That is to say, it could have happened to anyone if the young leader had once hated them. And it may have not excluded even cronies around him. Let alone those who tried to get away from him. It would have been horrendous if that was true.

I pray for the boy and his family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rest in Peace .... Mom should go to the police that time , kid got the black eye.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ryuta-kun new in town, vulnerable, deceived and warned of the consequences by Tokyo delinquents.... despite it all, Ryuta-kun manned up to them and faced a horrendous, hideous crime against him just for doing the right thing in not commiting a theft. HELLO OUT-THERE....drastic times calls for drastic measures when it comes down to the welfare and safety of the young!!! RIP Ryuta-kun............

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still can´t forget this. My blood boils when I see the photos of the murderers, grinning with their bleached hair and stupid gang signs. And the kid wanted to go to school and play basket, they told him "gakku iku na".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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