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Inmate arrested for 2004 murder of 9-year-old girl in Japan

A man serving a jail term for the attempted murder of a female junior high school student was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing a 9-year-old girl in 2004 in western Japan.

Kunihiko Katsuta, 39, has confessed to his involvement in the murder of Yukiko Tsutsushio, a third-grade elementary school pupil in Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture, according to investigative sources.

Police raided the home of Katsuta in Kakogawa in neighboring Hyogo Prefecture on Wednesday for clues as to his motive and any link between Katsuta and the victim.

The girl was found bleeding on the floor of her home by her sister, who returned home at about 3:35 p.m. on Sept. 3, 2004.

She was taken to hospital with multiple injuries to her chest and abdomen, but was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

(Katsuyoshi Tsutsushio looks at a photo of his daughter Yukiko in August 2010)

Katsuta was arrested in 2015 for stabbing a female junior high school student in the stomach with a knife on a street in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture.

At the initial trial, the Himeji branch of the Kobe District Court noted in its ruling that Katsuta had developed an interest in animation while at high school and a taste for seeing girls’ shirts soaked in blood, which later grew into an urge to stab girls in the abdomen.

The Osaka High Court subsequently sentenced him to a 10-year prison term in 2016.

In 2010, Katsuta was also sentenced to four years in prison for assaulting and injuring five girls on a street, including elementary and high school students.

All – Kyodo News+

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