SAGAMIHARA, Japan – Japan’s peace was shaken when a care home saw 19 killed and at least 20 others severely injured during the worst mass-killing in Japan’s post-war history, by a man who claimed that disabled people should be “euthanised.”
According to reports, the incident took place at a care centre in the mountains where some 149 patients, many of whom were aged or bedridden, were completely defenceless.
Alleged killer Satoshi Uematsu was a former employee of the facility, and although reasons of his departure are still murky, speculations have arisen that he quit abruptly in February after being chastised about abusive remarks aimed at residents.
Uematsu carried out the attack on the sleeping people by climbing in through the window at 2 a.m. local time on July 26 and methodically stabbing residents.
The victims included 10 women and 9 men, the youngest being 19 and the oldest was 70, both women.
The governor of Kanagawa Prefecture Yuji Kuroiwa said, “This was not an impulsive crime … He went in the dark of the night, opened one door at a time, and stabbed sleeping people one by one.”
After the attack, Uematsu turned himself over to the police, who later discovered that the attacker’s aim was to “wipe out” 470 disabled people.
Uematsu had also delivered a letter to the office of Japanese lawmaker Tadamori Oshima on February 15 which allegedly stated, “I envision a world where a person with multiple disabilities can be euthanized, with an agreement from the guardians, when it is difficult for the person to carry out household and social activities. Now is the time to carry out a revolution and make an inevitable but tough decision for the sake of all mankind.”
The letter added, “I believe there is still no answer about the way of life for individuals with multiple disabilities. The disabled can only create misery,” reasoning that Uematsu’s killing spree was required to stimulate the world economy and maybe even prevent a World War III.
Uematsu had a history of mental illness, and was committed to a psychiatric facility in February.
He tested positive for marijuana use during the treatment, but was released in March after officials confirmed that he was no longer a danger to himself and others.
He had trained to be a teacher and many remembered him as good with children and amiable.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that “this is a very tragic and shocking incident where many innocent people became victims. I sincerely pray for peace for the souls of those killed and extend condolences to the bereaved families as well as those wounded.”
He confirmed that there was no terror link with ISIS, and added that information from the police department and health officials would be analysed to prevent such incidents from occurring again.