Japan Police File Murder Charges in Kyoto Animation Arson Case

Japanese police on Wednesday formally charged 42-year-old local man Shinji Aoba with murder relating to the arson attack in July last year at Kyoto Animation.

The blaze, set using gasoline, killed 33 people on the scene and three more in hospital. A further 33 were injured.

The charges include murder, attempted murder, arson, trespass and breach of the arms-control law, the Kyoto prosecutor’s office said.

Aoba was himself burned and was arrested quite quickly after the shocking attack. He appeared to make a confession in which he said he was angry with the firm for stealing some of his ideas. The firm often known as KyoAni, operates a competition soliciting draft novels, but has consistently denied that it used Aoba’s.

Police were obliged to wait first for him to partially recover from his injuries. Then, as Aoba has a history of mental illness, they had to wait a further six months for him to undergo psychological evaluation.
Kyoto Animation, in September saw the release of its “Violet Evergarden: The Movie,” adapted from its TV series. It earned some $19 million in Japan.

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