Kyoto Animation Resume Planning Memorial for Its Arson Victims

It has been two years since Kyoto Animation became the target of one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Japan. Back in 2019, the studio was attacked by a disgruntled arsonist which led to the deaths of 36 people. In that time, Kyoto Animation has resumed work while keeping those who died firmly in spirit. And now, a new report from Japan suggests planning has resumed for a memorial honoring those who died. 

The news comes from NHK as the Japanese outlet confirmed Kyoto Animation has begun working with the families of those who died in the attack. The organization says that none of the bereaved are opposed to the idea of a memorial, but there is still resistance amongst those who live near where the arson occurred.

By now, Kyoto Animation has demolished its office which was attacked, but the building did spark a lot of attention in 2019. Hordes of people would gather at the destroyed studio to pay respects to those who died, and while this was considerate to the fallen, homeowners in the residential area were not pleased. All of the visitors clogged traffic and disrupted the area's peace for weeks on end. NHK reports that the homeowners' associations in the area aren't keen on any memorial that would draw attention back to the area.

But as for the victims' families, they are eager for some sort of memorial to come through. One such person told NHK, "I don't know how these discussions will continue, but I want the location to have some kind of marking of the names of those who worked [and died] there."

At this point, there is no word on what kind of memorial will be made, but Kyoto Animation has been adamant in its desire to build one. The company began pitching plans back in 2019 once the arson's immediate aftermath had passed. The attack remains one of the most deadly in Japan's history post-World War II, and 36 were killed that day with another 34 injured. As for the suspected arsonist, Shinji Aoba was indicted last December after recovering in hospital from extensive burns. His trial has not progressed any further though Aoba did confess to the arson when interviewed in late 2019.

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