Osaka movie theatre fire

The Osaka movie theatre fire took place on 1 October 2008 at around 3 a.m., where an adult video arcade was set on fire deliberately.[1][2] As a result, sixteen victims died and nine more were injured.[1]

Osaka movie theatre fire
Aftermath of the arson
Native name大阪個室ビデオ店放火事件
LocationNanbanaka 3-chome, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Coordinates34°39′44″N 135°30′02″E / 34.6623°N 135.5005°E / 34.6623; 135.5005
Date1 October 2008 (2008-10-01)
Property damage1 floor of a building burnt down
ChargesMurder and arson
PerpetratorKazuhiro Ogawa
Motive"I became sick of living"

Incident edit

The fire took place at an adult video arcade in Nanba, Osaka.[1][2][3][4][5] The business, called Cats, rented out 32 small rooms, which cost $15 a night (or ¥1500), according to the New York Times.[6][7] There were 26 customers and three employees in the store when the fire began.[7]

Some 120 firefighters fought the blaze and extinguished it in 90 minutes.[2] The theatre rooms, each equipped with a cot, were used as a cheap hotel by customers.[3] The rooms in the video store were located in a narrow hallway with only a single exit via the reception. There were no sprinklers or smoke ventilation, and the video's manager turned off the alarm after the fire broke out as he thought it was a false alarm.[8]

The fire resulted in 15 of the people in the store to die, due to carbon monoxide poison, with an additional 10 others sustaining injuries.[6] Of the 10 injured, one of the victims, Hirokatsu Igawa from Uda, Nara, died on the morning of 14 October, bringing the death count to 16. Igawa also died of carbon monoxide poisoning.[9]

Motive, trial, sentencing edit

The perpetrator, Kazuhiro Ogawa, told police he started the fire after deciding to kill himself. But he got scared, and ran away as smoke filled his room. Ogawa said he was depressed because he was living on welfare and that he "thought my life would be meaningless."[10] Despite initially admitting the allegations, Ogawa pleaded innocent saying "I did not commit arson" and "I admitted to the arson thinking that it was because of my own cigarette" at his trial.[11][12] Ogawa was found guilty on 21 November 2009, and was sentenced to death on 17 December.[4]

Ogawa's death sentence was upheld by the Osaka High Court in 2011.[13] In 2014, the Supreme court rejected Ogawa's appeal, judge Tomoyuki Yokota stated that Ogawa's actions caused "an extremely large number of casualties is serious, and the impact and anxiety on society is great" and that "There is no reason to consider the motives and circumstances behind the decision to commit suicide."[14] As of 2022, Ogawa awaits execution on death row.[15]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "個室ビデオ店火災 15人死亡、放火の疑い 大阪・難波". (in Japanese). 2008-10-01. Archived from the original on 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2023-07-01.
  2. ^ a b c "Fire kills 15 men at Osaka adult video theater". Reuters. October 1, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Arson kills 15 at adult video theater in Japan". NBC News. Associated Press. October 1, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Japan's History Of Disturbing Mass Killings". Sky News. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  5. ^ "Factbox: Recent mass killings in Japan". Reuters. 18 July 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  6. ^ a b "大阪の雑居ビル火災で15人死亡 殺人容疑などで客の男逮捕へ". 47news (in Japanese). 2008-10-01. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2023-07-01.
  7. ^ a b Onishi, Norimitsu (October 1, 2008). "Fire at Video Store Kills 15 in Japan". New York Times. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  8. ^ "管理人「非常ベル切った」 ビデオ店放火、誘導灯も消える?". 47news (in Japanese). 2008-10-06. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2023-07-01.
  9. ^ "大阪ビデオ店放火、死者16人に 入院中の奈良県の男性死亡". 47news (in Japanese). 2008-10-14. Archived from the original on 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2023-07-01.
  10. ^ "Suicide was motive in Osaka arson". The Japan Times. 5 October 2008. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  11. ^ "個室ビデオ店放火で死刑判決 大阪地裁「命で償いを」". 47news (in Japanese). 2009-12-02. Archived from the original on 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2023-07-01.
  12. ^ "Osaka arson suspect pleads innocent". The Japan Times. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Man sentenced to death over 16 arson murders". Japan Today. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  14. ^ "個室ビデオ店放火、死刑確定へ 大阪、16人死亡" [Private room video store arson, death sentence confirmed Osaka, 16 people died]. (in Japanese). 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014.
  15. ^ "Dozens killed in Japan building fire, arson suspected". Al Jazeera. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2021.