4-Yr Prison Term Given for Arson in Korean District in Kyoto


Kyoto, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese district court Tuesday sentenced a 23-year-old man to four years in prison over an arson attack in an ethnic Korean district in the city of Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan.

The defendant, Shogo Arimoto, set fire Aug. 30 last year to a vacant house in Uji's Utoro district, where many Korean residents live, and burned seven buildings, according to the ruling.

"It was an insidious act based on strong criminal motives," Presiding Judge Keisuke Masuda of Kyoto District Court said when handing down the sentence, which matched what had been sought by prosecutors.

"The motive was self-righteous and selfish, based on stereotypes and hatred for ethnic Koreans in Japan, and there is no extenuating factor," Masuda said.

He criticized Arimoto's attempt to evoke xenophobic public sentiment by triggering social unrest as "absolutely inexcusable in a democratic society."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press