The “Joker” who was imprisoned for 23 years: Unexpected Behavior and Changes in Court | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “Joker” who was imprisoned for 23 years: Unexpected Behavior and Changes in Court

Year-End Special Report

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When he was sent to prison in ’21, he had blonde hair. On why he dressed up as the Joker, he said, “I admired him because he kills people with impunity.

I set my sights on ‘The Joker’ in order to get the death penalty.”

On July 31, Kyota Hattori, then 26, who committed the Keio Line indiscriminate stabbing incident, was sentenced to 23 years in prison at the Tachikawa Branch of the Tokyo District Court. The “joker of the Keio Line,” who has been consistently explaining his motives since the beginning of the trial, did not change his expression even after the verdict was handed down.

The incident occurred on Halloween, October 31, 2009. On a Keio Line train in Chofu City, Tokyo, Hattori dressed up as the Joker, the villain of the movie “Batman,” and attacked a passenger, a man in his 70s, with a knife. He also set fire to the train car and attempted to kill 12 people on board. The sight of him smoking a cigarette with his legs crossed as he watched people flee the scene sent shockwaves throughout Japan.

Hattori said his motive was “to find out that his ex-fiancee was getting married” and “to quit his job because he was not satisfied with the company’s unfair personnel transfer. He also attempted suicide, and it is said that he committed the crime indiscriminately because he wanted to be executed.

Hattori, who committed the heinous act out of selfishness, showed no signs of remorse at his trial, which began on June 26. An investigator who attended the trial said, “In his first trial, Hattori showed no sign of remorse.

At his first trial, Hattori wore black hair and a shaved head, and at first glance, he seemed to be reflecting on his crime. However, he did not apologize to the victims until the very end and simply answered the questions asked of him without any sense of guilt.

However, there was a moment when his expression changed slightly. A source close to the investigation continued.

“At the second trial, the victim, a man in his 70s, appeared for questioning in his wheelchair. The man was overcome with anger and said, ‘If you can’t take responsibility, I wish you wouldn’t have done anything. Inmate Hattori listened intently with a downcast look on his face. It seemed as if he was at a loss as to how to respond to the man’s grief.

It was on July 20, just before the trial concluded, that the self-centered Hattori made his first apology. He told the victim, “I am sorry for causing him serious injuries and making his life difficult,” and continued, “I have to live to make up for my crime.

The sentencing range for attempted murder is said to be seven years at most, so 23 years is a harsh sentence. However, the court sentence also emphasizes the ‘selfish reasons’ and the ‘large number of victims,’ so even if his attitude in prison is good, it will be difficult for him to be released on parole,” said Yuka Kofuji, an attorney with the law firm “Hibiki.

We hope that the apology he made in court will be fulfilled not only with words but also with his life.

The image of Hattori immediately after his heinous act. The crime had a great impact on society, including the creation of copycats.

From the January 5 and 12, 2024 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Shinji Hasuo (sent to prison)

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