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Fight over family duties leads to stabbing death

Date Posted: 2005-11-11

A man is dead and his brother is in jail, charged with murder.

What began as a discussion over responsibilities to take care of their elderly father escalated into a heated argument when the younger brother refused to provide more help. “You should take care of father,” older brother Kenji shouted.

“Why me?” Sakae, the youngest of the three brothers retorted. “You are the one with responsibility to take care of father.” Kenji, 53, replied that he does. “I always take care of father, and now it’s about time to change for care.” The younger sibling told his older brother he was too busy, and ignored words that he “should do your duty.” Kenji, who lives in Okinawa City, had been making daily visits to Naha for two months to take care of his 91-year-old father and 78-year-old mother.

Moments later, at 3:05am, the verbal barrage turned violent, with the elder brother taking a kitchen knife and stabbing Sakae in the chest. An ambulance was quickly called, as Sakae lay unconscious and bleeding on the Naha City apartment floor. The bloody knife rested on the kitchen sink, and Kenji was standing stunned. He told the ambulance attendant “Yes, I did it.”

Neighbors told police the parents, Sakae and another brother lived in the Naha apartment. They said the elder Kenji visited every day to read books and newspaper to his ailing father, but that he’d been complaining about having it so rough while his younger brothers did nothing. Police say it appears both brothers were drunk, or had been drinking, at the time of the incident.

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