After ten months of waiting, police in Japan were able to arrest the suspect responsible for setting fire to Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 and killing 36 people. Shinji Aoba, 41, has been put into custody after being kept in a hospital for the past several months. Now, Kyoto Animation has taken a step towards justice as Aoba has been put into custody, and the company has released an emotional statement in light of the arrest.
Following Aoba's arrest, Kyoto Animation put out a terse statement that stresses the company has no comment on the arrest. The only thing which matters to Kyoto Animation is taking care of its survivors as the one-year anniversary looms over the tragic attack.
"In regards to the accused, we have no additional comment. All that matters is his actions and their results. Regardless of how he may try to excuse his actions, or what remorse he may speak of after the fact, our friends whose lives were taken will not come back, nor will it help the wounds of our injured friends heal. Bereaved families and friends now have to face a permanently changed reality, as must we [at Kyoto Animation]," the statement shared (via Sora News).
Continuing, the statement said it hopes the full weight of the law is used against Aoba. "As a company, we obviously agree with prosecutors pursuing the maximum culpability that the law will allow."
As for what Aoba could face, his sentence depends on what his mental state was like at the time the arson took place. Japan does allow for captain punishment, but it takes a lot of concrete evidence to pass down such a punishment. In 2019, three people were executed in Japan after being sentenced to death for committing multiple murders. For now, Aoba is waiting to receive his official charges before a trial can commence against him.
Kyoto Animation is beginning to move on from the tragedy as the company got back to work following the horrifying attack. Demolition was completed on the remains of Studio 1 earlier this year, and there is no word on where the company may settle next. Currently, Kyoto Animation is working with locals and victims on plans for a memorial that will be dedicated to all those employees who died in the fire.