Studio Arsonist Visited Key Anime-Related Sites before Attack

Society

Kyoto, July 30 (Jiji Press)--The suspect in a deadly arson attack against a Kyoto Animation Co. studio in the city of Kyoto, western Japan, had visited prior to the July 18 assault key sites related to an anime work produced by the company, it has been learned.

The police department of Kyoto Prefecture is looking in detail at the visits to the sites by Shinji Aoba, the 41-year-old man allegedly responsible for the attack, which took 35 lives and injured many others.

According to police investigators, Aoba traveled to Kyoto from his home in the city of Saitama, eastern Japan, using means including a Shinkansen bullet train, on July 15.

He appeared in security camera footage taken that afternoon near Kyoto Animation's headquarters in the city of Uji in the prefecture and at Rokujizo Station of West Japan Railway Co. <9021>, or JR West, near the attacked No. 1 studio of the animation company. Aoba stayed at a hotel in the city of Kyoto that night.

On July 16, the suspect was found to have stayed in an Internet cafe near Kyoto Station for about two hours from around 10:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. GMT). Around 2 p.m., a man believed to be Aoba was captured by security cameras at locations around JR West's Uji Station in the city of Uji.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press