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Monday, 27 September 2021

Japan arson suspect bore grudge - police

Duration: 02:00s 0 shares 1 views

Japan arson suspect bore grudge - police
Japan arson suspect bore grudge - police

As Japan mourns the 33 victims of the country's worst mass killing in two decades, police say the suspect torched the animation studio in Kyoto because he believed it had plagiarized his novel.

Mia Womersley reports.

Flowers and prayers to mourn victims of Japan's worst mass killing in two decades.

Thirty-three people died in what's thought to have been an arson attack on an animation studio.

On Friday (July 19), police identified the man suspected of torching the building as Shinji Aoba, according to Japan's NHK television.

Media say the 41-year-old male suspect shouted "Die" as he doused the area with petrol - acting because he believed his novel had been plagiarized.

NHK said he had served time in prison for robbing a convenience store in 2012.

And lived in facilities for former convicts after his release.

Adding that he had also received care for mental illness.

Media said Aoba has burns to the face and legs and that he told police 'I did it,' when he was detained.

Kyoto Animation makes series, popular around the nation.

Its headquarters is now a charred crime scene, with police scouring for clues.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 23-YEAR-OLD UNIVERSITY STUDENT AND KYOTO ANIMATION FAN, SHINTARO IDA, SAYING: "Kyoto Animation really cares about its anime fans.

I don't understand why workers at the studio have to go through this.

This is unforgivable." Residents of the quiet neighborhood surrounding the studio were devastated.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) WITNESS, KOZO TSUJI, 72, SAYING: "I am sure we will start seeing pictures of those who died, and I think I will recognize some of them.

It is so unfortunate that people who are so much younger than myself have died." Nineteen of the 33 victims were found on a staircase leading up to the roof of the building, Kyodo News said, citing authorities.

Firefighters said the door to the roof was shut, but could be opened from the outside.

Media said the police investigation was covering suspected arson, murder and attempted murder.