A 39-year-old Japanese man sentenced to death for killing seven people on the streets of Tokyo’s electronics district Akihabara in June 2008 was executed by hanging on Tuesday, Japan’s justice ministry said.
25 years old at the time, Tomohiro Kato drove a two-ton truck into passers-by in broad daylight before getting out of the car and stabbing people in the crowd with a double-edged blade, killing seven people and ten the injured.
He told the police that he was “tired of life” and that he came “kill, anyone”. His work is the result of “careful preparation” and shown by Mr. cyst “willful intent to kill”Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa said at a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday.
“The death sentence was confirmed by sufficient deliberations during the trials. On this basis, I approve the execution after careful consideration”he added.
“It was a very painful activity that led to serious consequences and shocked society”the minister further estimated.
Many messages on the internet
The death sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal in September 2012 after the first instance verdict in March 2011, and Japan’s Supreme Court rejected Mr Kato’s appeal in 2015, making the sentence final.
The son of a banker, Mr. Kato grew up in Aomori, studied at the best high school in this department in northeastern Japan, then opted for a professional course to work in the automobile industry. At the time of the events, he was a temporary worker at an auto parts factory in a small town in Japan, and knew before the massacre that his contract would expire at the end of June 2008. Posted in his boss, he was going to lose his apartment too and relied on the internet for fear of becoming homeless.
Before acting, he sent several messages on an internet forum, via his mobile phone, describing his intentions in detail. “I’m going to kill people in Akihabara. I’m going to drive my car through the crowd and if it becomes useless I’m going to use a knife. Goodbye everyone”he wrote a few hours before the attack.
Tomohiro Kato also explained that he committed this crime because of the criticism he received on the internet.
Prosecutors said his self-esteem also suffered when a woman he was talking to online stopped writing to him, after he sent her a photo of himself.
After his arrest at the scene of the attack, Mr Kato wrote to a 56-year-old taxi driver who was injured in the attack to express his regret, and also issued an apology during his trial.
After this crime, which took place seven years to the day after the massacre committed by a man armed with a knife at an elementary school in Osaka (west), the Japanese authorities banned the possession of both bladed dagger whose blade exceeds 5.5. centimeters.
The killing of Mr. It was the first application of the death penalty in Japan since December, when three people sentenced to death for murder were executed by hanging on the same day.
Japan, along with the United States, is one of the last industrialized and democratic countries to still resort to the death penalty, a punishment widely supported by Japanese public opinion. The Japanese government thinks not “inappropriate” to abolish the death penalty, considering the fact that
“Heinous crimes like mass shootings and murders during armed robberies still happen all the time”said the Minister of Justice on Tuesday.
“It is better if there is no (death penalty) but if it gives justice to the victim’s relatives, I think it is good to have such a system”said Junichi Kuwabara, a 54-year-old from Tokyo who was interviewed by AFP on Tuesday. “I wonder how the families feel. It’s better if the procedure” walk faster, he added.