“Allow me to take this opportunity to express my apologies. To those who have lost their lives and have been injured, I am terribly sorry.”
How the parents of the defendant felt about these words, spoken at the first court hearing on Jan 28, is unknown. Tomohiro Kato, 27, arrested for the Akihabara stabbing rampage, admitted all charges and expressed remorse.
A year and eight months since the incident, much has changed at his home in Aomori. Lights are seen inside the house, but no one responds to the knock on the door. According to a neighbor, “The father lives here alone now. He bows if he sees anyone, but doesn’t talk. For a while after the incident, people thought that Mr Kato had committed suicide whenever news of a fatal railway accident was reported in Aomori city.”
The father submitted his resignation to the financial organization where he had worked for 30 years shortly after the incident. One former coworker says that he keeps in touch, once in a while, only with those he’s known longest. “He never was socially outgoing and seldom leaves home now.”
The windows and curtains of their home have remained shut. “The mother was admitted to a local hospital due to mental stress. Her health has failed and she is wheelchair bound now. The younger son doesn’t come home at all,” says a local reporter.
On the day before the first hearing, the only statement the father made in a television interview was, “There is much that I can't understand. I hope my son explains what drove him to do this when he is in court.”
Secluded in his house, severing all ties with the outside world -- it may be the only atonement available to this father.© Japan Today