On July 26, 14 years after the incident, Tomohiro Kato, 39, who committed a series of indiscriminate killings in Akihabara, was sentenced to death.
He was sentenced to death in June 2015 for the murders of seven people. At a press conference held on April 26, Minister of Justice Sadahisa Furukawa said, “The execution of Tomohiro Kato caused extremely grave consequences, including the loss of seven precious lives, and had a great impact on society. We have ordered the execution after careful consideration.”
Kato was arrested in June 2008. He drove his truck into a pedestrian mall in Akihabara, jumped passersby, and then attacked those around him one after another with a dagger knife. Akihabara on a holiday became a screaming hellscape.
A male witness who was present at the scene at the time gave this magazine the following account of the incident.
I heard a “boom! and I saw people blown to pieces. The person who was hit on the ground was almost undressed and didn’t move a muscle.”
[Claire] “Whoa! Aah! It was like being on the battlefield. The whole area was a pool of blood.”
At the time, this magazine captured the image of Kato immediately after the incident. He was seized by two police officers who rushed to the scene and appeared to be in a stupor. A dagger knife covered in blood lies at his feet.
Seven people, including passersby, were killed and 10 others seriously injured by Kato’s murder.
After the incident, various facts about Kato come to light. He was strictly disciplined at home, restricted from watching cartoons and TV, and his friendships were strictly monitored by his parents. Dissatisfied with his precarious position as a temporary or part-time worker, Kato became a member of an Internet message board and developed a hatred of society. The incident triggered a variety of discussions, including the issue of temporary workers.
However, what Kato did was an extremely despicable act, attacking and taking the lives of people with whom he had no connection.
At the time, a father who lost his son in the incident told this magazine, “I was asked to show [his son’s] body.”
The right side of his son’s head was caved in, and there were stitches on the right side. I saw stitch marks from his chest to his abdomen and around his shoulders.
Immediately after the incident, what was the stunned death-row inmate Kato thinking?
Photo by： Ryutaro Takayama, Takahiro Kagawa (sent to prison)