Kyoto is a beautiful and ancient city, with over 1500 years of history. But it is also the the home of Japanese modernity, in high tech and services. Nintendo, Takashimaya, Q-Games and others are from this cradle of Japanese culture which as we well know, blends the old and the new. The Kyoto Animation Studio was attacked by a known criminal who poured a liquid, first reported as gasoline around the doors and windows of the building and shouted “die” to the workers inside. Most fled to the upper floors and were found deceased of smoke and fire, a total of 33 people died with another 30 injured, 10 still in serious condition with sever burns.
According to the Japanese national news service, it is called NHK, it cited an unnamed police detective as saying that Shinji Aoba, a 41-year-old from Saitama City near Tokyo was in police custody, and that he has spent time in prison for robbing a convenience story in 2012. The motives of this attack are still unclear but it seems this man has a history of mental health treatment as well.
Our Views: Japan is clearly a safe place for locals and for tourists, with almost zero crime in the largest cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido and Kyoto. Our team lives and works in Tokyo and have visited Yokohama and Osaka many times, both peaceful to the point that children as young as 9 or 10 years old ride the subway with no threat of harm. Japan as a nation places a premium on wa or harmony. This attack in a Animation studio was a rogue and shocking act that is far from the reality of what Japan is to all of us, Japanese and international residents. We support and pray for those who suffered in this tragic event.
PS, one of our partners lived in Kyoto and studied there for 2 years. He points out that he once lost a wallet leaving a taxi and was contacted by police 48 hours later, and the wallet was returned – with all of the cash still in it. This is Kyoto.