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Japanese teen fined in boy’s beheading

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TOKYO (AP) -- A 16-year-old convicted of beheading a boy was ordered by a court Thursday to pay about $836,000 in damages to the victim's parents.

The teen was convicted in October 1997 of beheading 11-year-old Jun Hase and leaving his head at a school gate with a sinister note stuffed in its mouth. He was also convicted of murdering another girl. He has been sent to a juvenile facility and is receiving psychiatric treatment.The Kobe District Court ordered the teenager and his family to pay the damages, said a court official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The teen's name has been withheld under Japanese law because he is a juvenile.

The May 1997 beheading in Kobe, 280 miles west of Tokyo, shocked Japan, a relatively crime-free nation where laws had been lax on juveniles, and set off a hot debate about the need to toughen penalties.