KyoAni arson victims remembered 3 years on

Courtesy of Kyoto Animation Co. / Jiji Press
Posters of anime products and other items are displayed during a memorial ceremony at the ruins of Kyoto Animation Co.’s No. 1 studio in Kyoto City on Monday.

KYOTO (Jiji Press) — A memorial ceremony was held on Monday to remember 36 victims of the July 2019 arson attack on Kyoto Animation Co.’s No. 1 studio in Kyoto City, marking the third anniversary of the tragedy.

During the ceremony, which started at 10:30 a.m. at the site of the studio in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, about 120 people, including bereaved families and Hideaki Hatta, president of the anime production company, better known by anime fans as KyoAni, offered silent prayers for the victims.

On July 18, 2019, Shinji Aoba, the 44-year-old suspect, released gasoline at the KyoAni No. 1 studio and set it alight. The arson killed 36 people and injured 32 others.

Aoba himself suffered severe burns and was hospitalized for about 10 months. He has been indicted on charges including murder and has undergone psychiatric examinations, but the schedule of his trial has yet to be set.

To avoid disturbances in the neighborhood and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, KyoAni had called on fans to refrain from coming to the studio site to mourn the victims on the day of the memorial ceremony.

At the ceremony’s start time, KyoAni released a memorial video on YouTube, in which messages from the victims’ family members and others were shown.

Hatta said KyoAni is discussing specific ways to utilize the site of the incident.