‘Joker’ suspect who set fire on Tokyo train sentenced to 23 years in prison

‘Joker’ suspect who set fire on Tokyo train sentenced to 23 years in prison‘Joker’ suspect who set fire on Tokyo train sentenced to 23 years in prison
Michelle De Pacina
July 31, 2023
The Japanese man accused of attacking passengers and setting a Tokyo train carriage on fire while dressed as the fictional supervillain Joker in 2021 was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Monday.
The Joker’s sentence: Kyota Hattori, 26, was found guilty of attempted murder by the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court, with Judge Yu Takeshita noting that the attack was an “indiscriminate crime with a selfish motive that targeted many passengers who happened to be on the train,” according to The Associated Press.
The court ruled that Hattori attempted to kill people, including a 72-year-old man he had stabbed with a 30-centimeter survival knife, by spraying oil in a train carriage and lighting it on fire.
The attack: The incident occurred on a train heading to Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood at around 8 p.m. on Halloween in 2021. Hattori was dressed as the Joker in a purple suit and green shirt. The fire on the train car ended up injuring 12 other passengers.
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Hattori’s motive: Hattori told the court that he carried out the attack because he wanted to receive the death penalty. 
According to prosecutors, Hattori wanted to die after learning that his ex-girlfriend married someone else. Around the same time, he was also told that he would be transferred to a different post in his company due to a work problem. When his attempt to commit suicide was unsuccessful, he resorted to hurting others in hopes of being given the death penalty.
Although the 26-year-old admitted to stabbing the senior and setting the train car ablaze, he previously pleaded not guilty to murder intent over the arson.
Increased safety measures: Due to the incident, train operators in Japan’s major cities have increased safety measures, including adding security cameras and conducting frequent safety drills.
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