26 July 2016
Japan early Tuesday morning recorded its worse mass killing since the second world war after a man with knives invaded a facility for disabled people and killed 19 people – nine women and ten men – with 26 others left injured.
Local news agency, Kyodo news agency, disclosed that 20 of the injured people sustained serious injuries.
According to The Guardian, the attack which was on Tsukui Yamayuri En (Tsukui Lily Garden) facility in Sagamihara, south of Tokyo is the worst mass killing in Japan in decades.
The suspect who was identified as 26 years old Satoshi Uematsu, was a former employee of the Tsukui Yamayuri En (Tsukui Lily Garden) facility, a facility that reportedly has nearly 150 residents.
Staff at the facility alerted the police to the attack around 2:30 a.m. local time after the attacker invaded the facility.
Following the attack, the suspect handed himself over to the police carrying a bag of kitchen knives and other sharp tools, some of which still had blood stains, and was quoted to have reportedly said “I did it”, adding that “it is better that disabled people disappear.”
With investigation into the massacre still at an early stage, it is not certain if the attack was motivated by the termination of his employment.
Uematsu had earlier in the year been admitted to a hospital – “involuntarily committed” – after attempting to pass a letter to the speaker of the lower house of Japan’s parliament within which he advocated euthanasia for disabled people and even expressed his willingness to carry out such killings himself.
“My goal is a world in which, in cases where it is difficult for the severely disabled to live at home and be socially active, they can be euthanised with the consent of their guardians”, Japanese broadcaster, NTV quoted the letter as saying.
There are strict euthanasia laws worldwide. As at June 2015, human euthanasia is legal only in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia and Luxembourg.
While assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Albania and in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana.
Though the police have refrained from establishing a formal motive for the attack, it appears that it has no connection with terrorism but rather an individually motivated incident.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
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