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Japan Man Sentenced to Death for Killing 36 By Setting Anime Studio on Fire

News Desk TTP

A Japanese court has sentenced a man to death for setting fire to an anime studio in Kyoto, killing 36 people and injuring 32 others, in one of the worst mass murders in the country’s history. The man, Shinji Aoba, now 45, had claimed that the studio, Kyoto Animation, had plagiarized his novel, but the prosecutors said he was delusional and motivated by revenge.

The arson attack, which took place on July 18, 2019, shocked Japan and the world, as Kyoto Animation, also known as KyoAni, was a popular and respected producer of anime shows and movies, such as “Violet Evergarden” and “A Silent Voice”. The victims, many of them young and talented artists, were trapped inside the three-story building, which was engulfed in flames after Aoba poured gasoline and ignited it.

Aoba, who suffered severe burns in the fire and spent almost a year in hospital, was arrested in May 2020 and charged with murder, attempted murder, and arson. He pleaded not guilty, saying that he was mentally ill and could not distinguish right from wrong. However, the court rejected his defense, and ruled that he was fully responsible for his actions.

The judge said that Aoba’s crime was “extremely heinous and cruel”, and that he had shown no remorse or empathy for the victims and their families. The judge also said that Aoba had violated the dignity and freedom of expression of the studio and its staff, and that he had damaged the culture and society of Japan and the world.

The death sentence, which is carried out by hanging in Japan, was welcomed by some of the survivors and relatives of the victims, who said that justice had been served. However, some also said that the sentence would not bring back their loved ones, or heal their wounds and trauma.

The president of Kyoto Animation, Hideaki Hatta, said that he respected the court’s decision, but that he still had many questions and doubts about the motive and background of the attacker. He also said that he hoped that the incident would not discourage the anime industry and fans, and that he would continue to create works that would inspire and touch people’s hearts.

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