TOKYO (AFP) - A 16-year-old Japanese schoolgirl has confessed to decapitating a classmate, police said Tuesday, as she reportedly told investigators she "wanted to dissect" someone.
The teenager, whose name was not released as she is a minor, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of murdering her 15-year-old female classmate, after police discovered the dismembered body on a bed in the suspect's home.
The accused has admitted she strangled the victim before severing her head and left hand, "using tools... and something like a cord," a police investigator told AFP.
"The victim was found decapitated, with her left wrist chopped off," the investigator said, adding that the murder likely took place on Saturday evening.
The two girls attended the same high school in Sasebo, a city in southwestern Japan, police said.
Police discovered tools, including hammers and a saw, at the suspect's apartment, the top-selling Yomiuri newspaper reported.
The girl lived on her own after her mother died of cancer last year, but her father and stepmother live in the same city, reports said.
"I wanted to kill someone. I bought tools by myself," the Yomiuri quoted the girl as telling police.
The popular Sports Nippon newspaper said the alleged killer told police she "wanted to dissect" a body, adding that the victim's belly was cut open.
The police official declined to confirm the reports, saying "we are investigating her motive for the crime, and we're not going to disclose other information".
Violent crime is still relatively rare in Japan, but several high-profile cases involving young people in recent years have heightened public concern.
Sasebo had already made headlines in 2004 when a primary school girl stabbed her classmate to death.
In 2008 a man went on a stabbing rampage in a crowded Tokyo shopping street, killing seven people and wounding a dozen others.
That incident came seven years to the day after a knife-wielding janitor killed eight primary school children, leaving the nation in shock.
In 1997 a 14-year-old was arrested for the murder of two schoolchildren. The head of one of the victims was left in front of his school gates.