Takahiro Ueda, the doctor who saved the life of the defendant in the fatal 2019 Kyoto Animation arson has said he hopes the case spurs a discussion on ways to resolve isolation in society ahead of Thursday's ruling.

Suffering severe burns himself, defendant Shinji Aoba, 45, was in a critical state when he was brought to a hospital in Osaka Prefecture where Ueda then worked, two days after the attack on July 18, 2019. The arson killed 36 people and seriously injured 32.

In the incident, deemed one of Japan's worst-ever mass murder cases, Aoba entered a Kyoto Animation studio and used gasoline to start a fire. Prosecutors have sought the death penalty, while his defense argues he should be acquitted or receive a reduced sentence due to diminished responsibility caused by delusions.