26 July 2016
At least 19 people were killed and 25 others wounded in a knife rampage at a facility for the mentally disabled near Tokyo on Tuesday, local media reported.
Police responded to a call at around 2:30 am local time (1730 GMT Monday) from an employee saying a knife-wielding man broke into the facility in the city of Sagamihara in Kanagawa prefecture and went on a stabbing spree, Kyodo News agency reported.
Twenty of the victims were seriously injured.
The man, named as Satoshi Uematsu by Kyodo, afterwards drove himself to the local police station at 3 a.m. and admitted to the attack.
“I did it. It’s better that the handicapped disappear,” the man reportedly told police.
The attacker was carrying three knives in a bag, some of which were bloodstained, according to police.
He was arrested on suspicion of murder.
The 26-year-old had been employed at the facility known as Tsukui Yamayuri En between December 2012 and February of this year, according to a spokesman at the facility.
As of the end of April, a total of 149 people between the ages of 19 and 75 were living at the facility in a quiet residential area near Mount Takao, a popular tourist destination about 50 kilometers from the capital.
At a news conference, Kanagawa Governor Yuji Kuroiwa expressed regret to the victims.
The attack is the worst mass killing in recent years in Japan. Mass murders are rare in the country, where tight gun control laws exist.
In 1995, 13 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured in the sarin gas attack staged by the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, the worst-ever act of domestic terrorism on Japanese soil.
In 2008, 16 people died in an arson attack at a video shop in the western city of Osaka after an unemployed man set the store on fire.