• Kyodo


A 38-year-old man was sentenced Friday to death for murdering five people and injuring 10 others in a 1999 rampage at JR Shimonoseki Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

The trial of Yasuaki Uwabe at the Shimonoseki Branch of the Yamaguchi District Court was a prolonged affair, with the results of psychiatric examinations submitted twice in an effort to determine whether he was criminally responsible for his actions.

Uwabe claimed he went on the rampage “on God’s orders” and to exact “revenge on humankind.”

Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty, claiming he was responsible for his actions.

Uwabe’s lawyers said he conducted the murderous rampage in a state of diminished responsibility and asked for a reduced sentence.

According to the ruling, Uwabe drove a rented car into the JR Shimonoseki Station building on Sept. 29, 1999, after taking 120 sleeping pills.

He ran over seven people on the road outside and within the building itself before attacking other victims with a kitchen knife after passing through the ticket gates.

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