Prosecutors on Thursday demanded capital punishment for a man who has admitted to the 2019 arson attack at Kyoto Animation that killed 36 people, while his defense counsel has called for an acquittal, arguing he was not mentally competent at the time.

In seeking capital punishment for Shinji Aoba, 45, in the lay judge trial at the Kyoto District Court, a prosecutor said his conduct was "premeditated, extremely dangerous and truly cruel, having a significant impact on society."

The prosecution acknowledged that Aoba harbored delusions, wrongly believing a novel he entered in a contest held by Kyoto Animation had been plagiarized by the firm, but said his delusions had limited impact on his behavior and did not constitute a reason to avoid the maximum sentence.