Kyoto Animation Begins Discussions With The Victims’ Families On Construction Of A Memorial

The relatives did not express strong feelings of opposition towards the construction of a monument.

Kyoto Animation

Kyoto Animation has begun discussions with the families of the victims of the 2019 Kyoto Animation arson attack with a focus on the former site of Studio 1, where the attack occurred, as a potential memorial site.

The Studio was demolished in April 2020 and since then the land has remained empty.

A studio representative told NHK on Dec 4, that none of the roughly 30 families that attended the meeting opposed to erecting a memorial at the site.

KyoAni Studio 1
The former site of Studio 1 in April 2020 (via NHK)

ANN reported that, Kyoto Animation’s lawyer told The Yomiuri Shimbun they have not yet reached any conclusion. The two parties intend to continue gathering input, with a decision expected by the end of the fiscal year 2022.

In the meantime, a few relatives and acquaintances spoke to the NHK, with one family member saying that they “don’t know how the discussion will turn out, but I want to somehow preserve their name in the place where they had been working.”

Another said, “A large number of people died, so I hope a memorial monument can be built quickly on the former site as a form of remembrance.”

On the other hand, one relative said, “I don’t want strangers to tread in a place where my child died.”

A representative of the Fushimi ward stated in Dec 2019 that “if many people continue to visit [the site], the peaceful lives of the neighborhood’s residents will be destroyed.”

Shinji Aoba, the suspected arsonist, was apprehended shortly after fleeing the scene in July 2019, but did not enter police custody for nearly a year due to injuries sustained during the attack.

The Kyoto District Court decided on Oct. 19 to allow another psychological examination to examine the criminal liability of Aoba.

The 41-year-old suspect had already gone through a round of psychiatric evaluations from the side of the prosecution before the indictment, in Dec 2020.

A devastating fire had broken out at KyoAni’s Studio 1 building on July 18, 2019. At the time, there were 70 people inside the building. The fire claimed the lives of 36 people and injured 33 more. Aside from the victims inside the building, the smoke also injured a man in his forties who was on his way to work.

Kyoto Animation’s productions were initially paused after the attack, and the onset of the pandemic further delayed its projects.

As a fresh comeback from the two-year aftershock of the tragedy, the studio resumed its production activities with the release of the second season of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.

Source: NHK via ANN, Crunchyroll

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