• Crime & Courts

KyoAni Case Appealed to High Court after Death Sentence

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Osaka District Court

KYOTO (Jiji Press) — The defense for the arsonist in the July 2019 attack on Kyoto Animation Co. filed an appeal with Osaka High Court on Friday to challenge the death sentence its client was given.

Defendant Shinji Aoba, 45, was sentenced to death by Kyoto District Court on Thursday, as sought by public prosecutors.

The arson attack on the No. 1 studio of the animation powerhouse known as KyoAni killed 36 people and injured 32 others.

The ruling rejected the defense’s claim that Aoba was in a state of insanity or diminished capacity, concluding that he was mentally competent to take criminal responsibility for the incident.

During the trial, Aoba admitted to murder and other charges against him. Explaining his motives, Aoba said that KyoAni rejected a novel he entered for a KyoAni contest and stole from the work.

In a court session the day before the trial closed, Aoba offered an apology to victims’ families and said he should receive capital punishment to pay for what he had done.