Survivors, bereaved family members and staff of a care facility for mentally disabled people on Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of a stabbing rampage which left 19 residents dead and 26 others, including two employees, wounded.
Due to the coronavirus, the memorial service was attended by fewer people this year, Fuji TV reported. Attendees offered prayers and flowers at the site of the former Tsukui Yamayuri En facility in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. A new facility being constructed at the site is scheduled for completion in 2021.
On July 26, 2016, Satoshi Uematsu, 30, broke into the care facility, where he used to work, in the early hours of the morning and started stabbing residents.
He was convicted and sentenced to death by the Yokohama District Court on March 16 this year. After the verdict, Uematsu said he expected to receive the death penalty and wouldn’t appeal it, but was "not convinced" that he deserved it.
Uematsu had repeatedly said that people who cannot communicate bring “misfortune" and that they should be killed. He also said he believed parents of the severely disabled die sooner than other parents because they get exhausted due to their burden.© Japan Today/Kyodo