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Friday, February 3, 2023

Japan executes Akihabara mass murderer

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Japan executed a 39-year-old man who was convicted for killing seven people in Tokyo in 2008 during a stabbing rampage, BBC reported on Tuesday.

Tomohiro Kato, then aged 25, carried out one of the most shocking mass murders in the Japan’s recent history, when he drove a truck into a lunch-time crowd of pedestrians at Akihabara shopping district, killing three people.

He then stabbed passer-bys with a dagger, killing four and wounding eight.

He was apprehended by the police at the scene of crime and later confessed to his crimes in his trial, saying he had been angered by online bullying.

The incident sparked much debate in Japanese society at the time over random killings, online influence and the failures in mental health support for young people.

On Tuesday, Japanese media reported that Kato, now 39, had been hanged in the Tokyo Detention Centre.

It is the country’s first execution this year. It hung three people last December and more than 100 prisoners remain on death row.

Laws on knife ownership were also tightened after Kato’s killing spree.

The Tokyo District Court sentenced him to death in 2011 saying his brutal crime had not indicated “a shred of humanity”.

He lost an appeal in 2015 to commute his death sentence.

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