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Ars Vivendi E-mail Magazine No.149 (August 1, 2016)

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Ars Vivendi E-mail Magazine No.149 (August 1, 2016)

Comments regarding the Attack in Sagamihara, Japan

At the Research Center for Ars Vivendi of Ritsumeikan University, our hearts are with those 19 individuals with intellectual disabilities, who were killed at “Tsukui Yamayuri En”, in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, on 26 July 2016, their surviving families, friends and their community. We wish those injured swift recovery.

We have been approached by national and local newspapers, news agencies, magazines and TV stations for comments about this major tragedy. Below you find two comments made by our members.


Professor Nagase Osamu

I feel very angry and profoundly sad at this mass murder at Tsukui Yamayuri Residential Institution today.

Currently there is a lot of media coverage of the suspect. I wish to know what led to this barbaric act and about the killer.

At the same time, I wish to know about the victims, whose lives have been violently taken. What did each individual enjoy? What did he/she work on?

The victims had one thing common; they were all disabled. But each one, as a person first before disability, must have been leading a life feeling happy, angry, sad, and joyful, just like non-disabled people.

We should be able to learn more from this horrible tragedy by knowing more about each individual. By doing so, we should be able to value each and every life. In order to listen to the voices of those lost; I wish to know more about them.

I hope that Kanagawa Newspaper, as a local newspaper, will take time to have the complete picture of this tragedy and in its reporting, do not neglect the perspective of those individuals who lost their lives. They are not just numbers.

(28 July 2016, Kanagawa Newspaper)


Professor Shin'ya Tateiwa (Director of the Center)

The sense of discontent, “I am unfairly treated”, leads people to attack who are placed in more vulnerable positions, including persons with disabilities and immigrants. Perhaps the suspect could have been discontented. The suspect is not the only one to say that persons with severe disabilities are better dead. There are more who express similar views on the internet. They are just completely wrong. Another issue is the heavy cost of supporting persons with disabilities. There is no evidence to prove this but this is used to make people feel uneasy. We have to be cool-headed. The suspect is reported to have a history of being forcibly placed in a mental institution. But his mental illness did not make him commit the crime. The statistics shows us that the crime rate among persons with psychosocial disabilities is lower than that of those without. It is very important not to spread the prejudice against persons with psychosocial disabilities, saying that they are dangerous and that they should be isolated.

(28 July 2016, Asahi Shimbun, morning edition)

19 white Chrysanthemums and the other flowers 19 white Chrysanthemums
Photos of 19 white Chrysanthemum for each victim offered by Nagase on 27 July 2016
© Nagase Osamu

[Ars Vivendi E-mail Magazine]

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General Editor : Shin'ya Tateiwa
Chief Editor : Nagase Osamu
Published by Research Center for Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University
56-1 Kitamachi, Tojiin, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan 603-8577

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