Sagamihara, Kanagawa Pref. – The Kanagawa Prefectural Government held a ceremony Sunday to open a new facility for disabled people that replaces Tsukui Yamayuri-en, where 45 people were killed or injured in a rampage nearly five years ago.
Nineteen residents of Tsukui Yamayuri-en in the city of Sagamihara in Kanagawa were killed in the incident, which happened on July 26, 2016. The new facility, also in the city, will be used from Aug. 1.
The ceremony was attended by 45 people. “I can’t forget the incident five years ago,” Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa said, stressing that he can never forgive the culprit although his death sentence was finalized last year.
“I now realize that we are finally back (to the place),” Kazuma Otsuki, who heads an association of families of Tsukui Yamayuri-en residents, told reporters after the ceremony.
“I want (residents) to live a joyful life at the new facility, feeling that the souls of the 19 deceased residents are watching them from heaven,” he said.
According to the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, the new facility comprises two buildings — one with a single story and the other with two stories. The two buildings can accommodate a total of up to 66 people.
Residents will be given their own private rooms to protect their privacy.
After the 2016 incident, the prefectural government also built a different facility, Serigaya Yamayuri-en, in Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa, to accept some residents of Tsukui Yamayuri-en.
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