A Japanese man accused of breaking into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo before stabbing and killing 19 patients was taken from a regional jail to see prosecutors on Wednesday, footage on public broadcaster NHK showed.
Satoshi Uematsu, the 26-year-old suspect and former employee of the facility, was sent from the town of Sagamihara, about 45 km southwest of Tokyo, to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office in Kanagawa prefecture. Dozens of other residents were wounded in Tuesday’s early-morning attack at the Tsukui Yamayuri-En facility for the disabled in Sagamihara.
Uematsu, who gave himself up to police after Japan’s worst mass killing in decades, said in letters he wrote in February that he could “obliterate 470 disabled people”, Kyodo news agency reported. According to police cited by the Asahi Shimbun daily, the suspect said: “The disabled should all disappear.”
Japan has recently seen an increasing number of cases of attacks on the weak and vulnerable. In February, a former nursing home worker was arrested for allegedly throwing an 87-year-old resident from a balcony to his death. The former employee also reportedly admitted killing two more residents in their 80s and 90s by throwing them from balconies in 2014.
There have also been cases of family members killing ailing and ageing spouses or parents suffering from dementia in Japan’s rapidly ageing society.