Funeral Held for 2 Ground Seld-Defense Forece Members Killed in Shooting

Courtesy of the Ground Self-Defense Force
Yasunori Morishita, the chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defense Force, speaks at a funeral in Nagoya on Sunday.

A funeral for two Self-Defense Forces officers who were killed on duty in a shooting incident at a Ground Self-Defense Force firing range in Gifu City was held Sunday at Camp Moriyama in Nagoya.

The victims were Yasuchika Kikumatsu and Kosuke Yashiro.

The ceremony was closed to the media and lasted about 90 minutes. Approximately 300 people, including the bereaved families and Defense State Minister Toshiro Ino, offered flowers and observed a moment of silence.

“The loss of the lives of these men is immensely regrettable. May they rest in peace,” said Yasunori Morishita, the chief of staff of the GSDF.

Hidenori Sakai, the commanding general of the GSDF’s 10th Division, described Kikumatsu as “a strong, gentle and dependable man with meticulous care.” Sakai said Yashiro was “a person who always took on challenges positively and is loved by junior members like an older brother.”

A 63-year-old former senior officer of the GSDF who attended the ceremony said, “Why did the suspect shoot his comrades? I still feel a strong sense of resentment and my heart hurts.”

The shooter, an 18-year-old SDF cadet who has been charged on suspicion of murder and other crimes, is being detained for evaluation to determine his criminal liability.