Akihabara stabber gets death penalty

A couple of years ago 25-year-old Tomohiro Kato drove a rented truck into Japan’s electronics Mecca, Akihabara – having previously posted messages on a website that he was planning to do some killing. He picked a Sunday for his knife rampage because he knew that on Sunday the streets would be closed to vehicles and crowded with pedestrians. The date was June 8, 2008. A few weeks later there seemed to be a police officer on every corner. Killing sprees are quite rare in Japan and Kato had killed seven and injured ten.

Today a Tokyo District Court judge explained that Kato was of sound mind when he went on his rampage and that his Internet posts showed premeditation. Kato was handed the country’s harshest sentence: some time in the future, Kato will be taken into Tokyo’s death chamber and after meeting with a priest, a bag will be placed over his head, then a rope drawn around his neck. A trap door will open under his feet… unconsciousness will likely come immediately, followed by a swift and almost certainly painless death.

Some might say that Kato would think that his sentence was fair – in the course of the trial, a letter was produced in which Kato was quoted as saying “My crime deserves death.” [Kotaku]


C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and a reporter at large for We Interrupt and Uberreview. He currently resides in the Japanese countryside approximately two hours from Tokyo - where he has spent the better part of a decade testing his hypothesis that Japan is neither as quirky nor as interesting as others would have you believe.
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