Its been many years since the unforgettable Deadly Stabbing In Akihabara on 8 Jun 2008. Tomohiro Kato, 28, ran down five pedestrians, of whom three were killed and two were injured, with a truck in a vehicle-free pedestrian zone in Akihabara on June 8, 2008, and fatally stabbed four passersby with a dagger after getting out of the vehicle. The rampage ended with seven people killed and ten others injured.
Back in Jan 2010, he admitted responsibility and apologized in court during his hearing. And today, he was sentenced to death at a Tokyo district court.
“It’s an inhumane and cruel act. It’s not an exaggeration to say that all of Japan was shocked by it,” Presiding Judge Hiroaki Murayama said in handing down the ruling.
Murayama rejected the defense council’s claim that Kato was mentally incompetent, saying he has the ability to assume criminal responsibility for the crime he committed.
Kato had posted messages on an online bulletin board in which he complained about his job while giving notice of his intention to commit the crime.
The court concluded Kato became irritated after the bulletin board, the only place where he felt he belonged, was trolled since late May in 2008, and the disappearance of his work clothes from his workplace exacerbated his anger.
Kato wanted to tell people to “stop harassing him by committing a major crime,” the court said, adding that “the loss of his family, friends and job gave him a strong sense of isolation.”
Arguing he was mentally competent, the prosecutors said he had tried to fight back in response to people who had harassed him on the bulletin board, branding his act “self-centered.”
They said his insecure employment, an inferiority complex about his appearance and his lack of success in getting a girlfriend had also led him to commit the crime.
His defense council, in seeking leniency, had argued his mental competency was diminished at the time of the crime, saying he lost part of his memory.
Kato told the court at the end of the trial, “Now I think I should not have committed the incident and regret what I have done…I feel sorry for the victims and their families and the people injured.”
The incident led to the revision of the firearms control law to ban the possession of daggers and to suspension of the car-free pedestrian zone, which was resumed in January on a trial basis.
Source: Mainichi Japan
I feel sorry for the poor dude but even more sorry for the other victims and their families. Its good that the trial has ended and Akihabara streets has reopened again so that everyone can put the incident behind us.