The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the death sentence for a man convicted of murdering seven people in a rampage at Tokyo's Akihabara district in 2008.
On June 8, 2008, Tomohiro Kato drove a truck into a pedestrian zone, killing three people. He then got out of the truck and went on a stabbing rampage, killing four. Another 10 people were injured.
Kato was sentenced to death by the Tokyo District Court in 2011. At the initial sentencing, presiding judge Hiroaki Murayama said the killing spree was "a brutal crime that did not indicate a shred of humanity on the part of the defendant," adding the death penalty was the only suitable punishment.
However, his lawyers appealed on the basis that Kato was delusional. But the Tokyo High Court upheld the death sentence in 2012. Lawyers then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court.
In Monday's ruling, the presiding justice said there were no extenuating circumstances and that the impact of the crime on society had been significant, NHK reported.
During his trial, Kato testified that he decided several days before to stage the attack. ''I got tired of my life. I've visited Akihabara several times. I know that there are many people there,'' he told the court.
Kato rented a truck the day before his rampage. He also posted a series of messages on a mobile phone bulletin board, warning what he was about to do.
In one of the court hearings, Kato said he had committed his crime because he had been the target of online bullying.
"I wanted people to know that I seriously wanted to stop the harassment on the Internet bulletin board that I used," he said, according to Japanese media.
For a time after the attack, Akihabara's so-called Pedestrian Paradise, which had been closed off to traffic, was discontinued while authorities debated how to avoid future random attacks on shoppers.© Japan Today