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Tue, 08/01/2023 - 05:06
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2021 Tokyo Train Attacker Gets 23 Years in Prison

Tokyo, July 31 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo District Court's Tachikawa branch on Monday sentenced a 26-year-old man to 23 years in prison for his knife and arson attack on a train in the Japanese capital in 2021. Kyota Hattori conducted the attack in order to be executed after the marriage of his former partner and his transfer to an unfamiliar workplace led him to a decision to commit suicide, Presiding Judge Yu Takeshita said. Describing the attack as "heinous and despicable," the judge said Hattori committed an "indiscriminate crime for selfish reasons, targeting the lives of many passengers who happened to be on the same train." Hattori was accused of attempting to murder 13 passengers on the rapid train on Keio Corp.'s Keio Line by stabbing or setting on fire. The prosecution had sought 25 years in prison in the lay judge trial, while the defense had argued that Hattori deserved a sentence of 12 years because the act of arson does not constitute attempted murder. While the prosecution accused Hattori of trying to kill 12 people by arson, the judge recognized as targets of the attempted murder 10 of them who were either in the same train car as Hattori's or in the closest connecting part when he lit his lighter. "They were in real and concrete danger of their lives," the judge said. Based on footage showing a fire and an explosion on the train, the judge said, "It was a heinous and despicable crime that could well have caused many casualties." Hattori stabbed a man deeply and sent him into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest temporarily, the judge also said. "It's obvious that his life was in extreme danger." In the incident, which began around 7:55 p.m. Oct. 31, 2021, Hattori tried to kill a passenger in his 70s with a knife, splashed lighter fuel toward 10 others and set it on fire with a Zippo lighter while the train was traveling in the city of Chofu, aiming to kill them, according to the ruling. END