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Japan executes man convicted of killing 7 in 2008 massacre

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Tokyo Police at the stabbing massacre in 2008 at the Akihabara shopping district where Tomohiro Kato killed seven people and injured 10 others; Kato was executed by the Japanese government Tuesday. File Photo by Carpkazu/Wikimedia
Tokyo Police at the stabbing massacre in 2008 at the Akihabara shopping district where Tomohiro Kato killed seven people and injured 10 others; Kato was executed by the Japanese government Tuesday. File Photo by Carpkazu/Wikimedia

July 26 (UPI) -- The Japanese government has executed a man convicted of killing seven people in 2008 during a stabbing attack in Tokyo.

Tomohiro Kato, 39, was executed at the Tokyo Detention House, Japan's Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa confirmed at a news conference.

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The Tokyo District Court originally sentenced Kato to death in 2011. He was convicted of going on a deadly stabbing rampage in Tokyo's busy Akihabara shopping district.

The attack began when he rammed his rented truck into a crowd of pedestrians. He then got out of the vehicle and began stabbing people with a dagger.

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A total of seven people were killed and 10 others wounded in the ensuing violence. The seven victims ranged in age between 19 and 74. Kato was arrested at the scene.

In 2012, the Tokyo High Court upheld the death sentence, and it was finalized by the Supreme Court in 2015.

"(The killings) left an extremely serious impact and shocked the community by taking seven people's lives in an atrocious way," Furukawa told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

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Following his arrest at the time, Kato told police he'd planned the attack for days.

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"I got tired of my life. I've visited Akihabara several times. I know that there are many people there," he said in a 2008 interview.

Investigators said Kato told them he went to Akihabara to kill people. He also said he had been the victim of online bullying.

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Police found a series of messages posted on a mobile phone bulletin board, talking about the rampage, according to a 2008 report. It also said Kato told police he had warned them about his actions in those postings.

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