Suspected Kyoto arsonist ‘terrified’ neighbour, Latest World News - The New Paper

Suspected Kyoto arsonist ‘terrified’ neighbour

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JAPAN The man suspected of killing 34 people in an arson attack in Japan lived alone, hundreds of kilometres from the torched Kyoto Animation studio, where he played video games non-stop and had "terrified" his neighbour days earlier.

Police late on Saturday issued an arrest warrant for 41-year-old Shinji Aoba, suspected of causing Japan's worst mass killing in two decades last Thursday when he went to the studio in Kyoto, poured fuel around the entrance and shouted "Die" as he set the building ablaze, according to broadcaster NHK.

They will arrest Aoba, who suffered serious burns and is in hospital, once he recovers, NHK said.

Aoba lived alone in Omiya, a suburb of Tokyo and 500km from Kyoto. His next-door neighbour described Aoba as pudgy and unkempt. He barely spoke to anyone.

"I've never seen him go out during the day. I would regularly hear him go out around midnight," the neighbour, a 27-year-old man, told Reuters.

Music from video games blared from Aoba's home at all hours, the neighbour said, adding there had been complaints from residents about the noise.

On July 14, Aoba threatened the neighbour over a misunderstanding.

It started when Aoba began pounding on the wall to complain about noise, the neighbour said. When the neighbour went to Aoba's door to tell him the noise was coming from another unit, he heard a loud wail and then the door opened.

"When he came out of his apartment, his eyes were bloodshot, and he started yelling at me to shut up," the neighbour said.

"He grabbed me by the collar and started pulling my hair. It was terrifying."

Aoba told police he attackedthe studio because it plagiarised his novel, Kyodo News reported.

The NHK said he had received care for mental illness previously.- REUTERS