Father of 1997 Kobe serial killing victim reacts to Supreme Court report

The father of a victim of the 1997 serial killings in the western Japanese city of Kobe says he will closely examine a report on a series of disposals of high-profile trial records.

In 1997, a 14-year-old boy attacked five children in Kobe City, killing two children, including 11-year-old Hase Jun.
It surfaced last year that the Kobe Family Court had discarded all records on the case.

The victim's father, Hase Mamoru, asked the Supreme Court to interview victims' relatives and listen to their opinions about the incident.

He also asked the top court to disclose not only the results from the probe but also its process and discussions with people concerned.

In February, Hase was invited to a meeting of an expert panel set up by the Supreme Court. He said that he was furious about the sloppy management of court records.

The Supreme Court on Thursday released a report after it had probed the family court and other courts across the country which had disposed of trial records on significant cases.

Hase issued a statement, saying that the relatives of victims had a glimmer of hope that they can view all records some day and get closer to the truth, but even such a chance was now taken away.

Hase said that he will make a judgement on whether the report pays respect to sufferings of bereaved families after reading it thoroughly.

He added that he will make a further comment on the report after he receives an explanation directly from the court.

His lawyer says that Hase is expected to meet Supreme Court officials as early as next week.