Suspect of 2019 KyoAni Arson Attack Shinji Aoba Admits Charges

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Vehicles believed to be carrying the suspect in an arson attack on a Kyoto Animation Co. studio head toward Kyoto District Court on Tuesday.

Kyoto (Jiji Press)—The suspect of a deadly arson attack on a Kyoto Animation Co. studio four years ago admitted the charges in the indictment, in the first hearing of his trial at Kyoto District Court on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the defense team for the suspect, Shinji Aoba, 45, pleaded his innocence, citing his mental incompetence.

The attack occurred at the No. 1 studio of the animation powerhouse also known as KyoAni in the western Japan city of Kyoto around 10:30 a.m. on July 18, 2019.

According to the indictment, Aoba poured gasoline inside the studio and set fire, killing 36 people and injuring 32 others in the worst arson incident in Japan in terms of the number of victims since the 1989 start of the Heisei period in the country. He has been indicted on five charges including murder and attempted murder.