26 July 2022 :
Japan on 26 July 2022 executed a man who killed seven people in a vehicle crash and stabbing rampage in a crowded Tokyo shopping district in 2008.
Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa told reporters that Tomohiro Kato was hanged at the Tokyo detention center earlier 26 July.
Furukawa said Kato had thoroughly prepared to commit the mass killings — "an atrocious act that led to extremely serious consequences and had a major impact on society."
In the attack, Kato drove down his truck on a street in the Akihabara electronics shopping area, slamming into a crowd of people and killing three pedestrians in June 2008. He then got out of the vehicle and stabbed four people to death. He injured or wounded 10 others.
Surveillance footage aired by national broadcaster NHK afterward showed Kato buying hunting knives two days before the attack, laughing with a store worker and at times making stabbing motions with his hands. Media reports also said he had posted on internet message boards several despondent messages and warnings that he was planning to kill people in a mass attack.
Kato, 39, was sentenced to death in 2011 by the Tokyo District Court, and the Supreme Court rejected his appeal in 2015.
Furukawa denied hanging of 26 July was related to the shooting death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month, which shocked the nation known for strict gun controls and low crime rate.
The hanging of Kato was the second under the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office in October.
Japan now has 107 people on death row, including 61 seeking retrials, Furukawa said.