The Straits Times
Published on Sep 12, 2012

Death penalty upheld for Japan crowd knifeman


TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence imposed on a man who ploughed a truck into a crowd of shoppers before stabbing passers-by in a rampage that left seven people dead.

Tomohiro Kato, 29, had appealed against the penalty for the 2008 attack in Tokyo's bustling electronics district of Akihabara, which also left 10 people injured.

Kato, who used a double-edged knife in the attack, was sentenced to die last year after telling Tokyo District Court he was "fully responsible" for the bloody massacre on a busy June lunchtime. However, his lawyers had appealed on the basis that Kato, who did not appear in court, was delusional.

Turning down the appeal, presiding judge Yoshinobu Iida told Tokyo High Court the original judgement was sound, Jiji Press reported. "The defendant shows some sense of remorse, but there are no special circumstances that call for avoidance of capital punishment," he said, according to broadcaster NHK.