Disability Japan Mental Health Osaka Building Arson

One month after arson attack at Osaka mental health clinic, deceased suspect’s smartphone shows nothing indicating ‘friendship’

“When the police analyzed the smartphone of the deceased suspect, Morio Tanimoto, they found that there were zero entries in the phone book and no call history indicating friendship.”

By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from TV Asahi & Jiji Press

January 17 2022

OSAKA – It is almost one month since a fire occurred at a mental health clinic in a multi-tenant building in Osaka City’s Kita Ward in the morning of December 17 2021.

Twenty-five people were killed in the incident, and one is still unconscious and in critical condition as of January 17th 2022.

The suspect, Morio Tanimoto, 61, suspected of murder and arson, died of of his injuries after the attack, He was in critical condition due to carbon monoxide poisoning. He had acquired burns on his face, arms and legs in the fire and was taken to a hospital in state of cardiopulmonary arrest. He was resuscitated later but remained in a critical condition, leaving police unable to question him.

Tanimoto was a patient at the clinic. People who knew him have said he apparently lived a lonely life after going through a divorce and the deaths of family members and may have been suicidal. According to Osaka prefectural police sources, Tanimoto moved into a house in Osaka’s Konohana Ward in February 2017, after serving time for the attempted murder of his first son.

On January 17th 2022, TV Asahi reported that:

“When the police analyzed the smartphone of the deceased suspect, Morio Tanimoto, they found that there were zero entries in the phone book and no call history indicating friendship.

No problems with the clinic were found, but he had visited the clinic 112 times over a five-year period, and police believe that the suspect had a strong attachment to the clinic and planned it meticulously.”

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