Japanese man murders 19 in facility for mentally disabled

Satoshi Uematsu, 26, claimed he wanted to rid the world of people with disabilities.

A Japanese man stabbed and murdered 19 people and wounded 25 others on Tuesday at a facility for the mentally disabled at Sagamihara, near Tokyo, where he had been fired several months ago.

20 of the victims sustained serious injuries.

Authorities say that Satoshi Uematsu, 26, was driven by hatred when he carried out the 40-minute long stabbing rampage.

This was the deadliest mass killing in Japan in decades.

Uematsu broke into the facility by shattering a window and then set about slashing the patients’ throats. He calmly turned himself in about two hours after the attack.

He reportedly sent Japan’s Parliament a cryptic letter in February which detailed the planned bloodbath. He tried to hand-deliver the letter to Parliament’s lower house speaker demanding all disabled people be put to death through “a world that allows for mercy killing.”

Uematsu boasted in the letter that he had the ability to kill 470 disabled people in what he termed as “a revolution,” and outlined an attack on two facilities, after which he said he will turn himself in.

He also asked he be judged innocent on grounds of insanity, be given 500 million yen ($5 million) in aid and plastic surgery so he could lead a normal life afterward.

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“My reasoning is that I may be able to revitalize the world economy and I thought it may be possible to prevent World War III,” the letter read.

The letter, which the Tokyo police received, included the murderer’s name, address and telephone number, and reports of his threats were relayed to local police where he lived.

Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa apologized for having failed to act on the warning signs.

Uematsu was known to people in the area from his time working at the facility, and some said they found the news shocking because he was so polite and upstanding.

“He was just an ordinary young fellow,” an acquaintance said.

Yasuyuki Deguchi, a criminologist, said Uematsu’s actions were typical of someone who bears a grudge and seeks revenge, because it appeared he planned out the attack, and then he turned himself into police.

“Accomplishing his goal was all he wanted,” Deguchi said on Japanese TV.

Mass killings are rare in Japan mainly due to the country’s extremely strict gun-control laws.

In 2008, a man killed seven people by slamming his truck into a crowd of people in Tokyo’s Akihabara electronics district and then stabbing passers-by.

In 2001, a man killed eight children and injured 13 others in a knife attack at an elementary school in the city of Osaka.

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More recently, a man stabbed four people at a library in northeastern Japan earlier this month, allegedly over their improper handling of his questions. No one was murdered.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff