A top Japanese court on Monday dismissed the appeal of Tomohiro Kato, who was sentenced to death for a stabbing rampage that killed seven people and injured 10 others in 2008, media reports said. The latest Supreme Court decision comes four years after the 31-year-old was sentenced.
The attack had taken place in Tokyo’s busy Akihabara district when Kato rammed a rental truck into several shoppers on the street and later stabbed several passersby. The presiding judge at the 2011 trial had said that Kato deserved a death sentence as the incident was "a brutal crime." During the trial, Kato said he was "fully responsible" for the attacks, which he reportedly committed because he was being harassed online.
"The defendant used a knife to attack those who just happened to be there and took the lives of many people who were completely innocent," Hiroaki Murayama, who presided over the 2011 trial had then said, according to BBC, adding: "It was a brutal crime that did not indicate a shred of humanity on the part of the defendant. I have no choice but to sentence him to death."
The Akihabara district is famous for manga comics and anime films. Kato had reportedly earlier complained on a social platform about cyberbullying and had even shown his intention to commit the crime.
"I wanted people to know that I seriously wanted to stop the harassment on the internet bulletin board that I used," Kato had said, according to BBC.
Japan currently has about 100 inmates who are waiting for their execution. International groups have condemned the Japanese system where the sentenced persons sometimes wait for years and are informed about their execution just a few hours before they are to be hanged. However, death penalty is widely supported in the country, which has a low crime rate, AFP reported.