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Stabbing rampage suspect apparently tweeted message forewarning of crime

A van carrying Satoshi Uematsu, who is being referred to prosecutors, is surrounded by photographers and TV crews as it leaves Tsukui Police Station in Midori Ward, Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on July 27, 2016. (Mainichi)

SAGAMIHARA -- The suspect in the deadly stabbing rampage here on July 26 apparently tweeted in February this year suggesting that he would commit a crime.

"I may be arrested," said a message posted on a Twitter account that appears to belong to Satoshi Uematsu, 26, under arrest over the stabbing spree in Sagamihara that left 19 people at a care home for the disabled dead and 26 others injured.

Tweets from the account began to appear on Dec. 14, 2014. At the time, tweets for the most part featured the account owner's interactions with friends at parties and wedding receptions.

He then posted a photo of his back with tattoos and a message saying that his employer found out about "them." He said he'd ride out the storm with a smile.

The account owner also tweeted on June 9, 2015, that "it's stupid to have prejudice. You only see your own worldview."

The tweets stopped for a while after the message, "I'd like to live with the goal of improving my spirit, technique and physical condition for fighting," was tweeted on Oct. 30 of that year.

The account owner then resumed his tweets about three months later. On Feb. 13 this year, he wrote, "I just have to act, although I'm not sure whether it's right."

On Feb. 19 he tweeted, "I've voluntarily resigned from my company. I may be arrested..." Earlier in the day, Uematsu quit his job at the care home, Tsukui Yamayuri En (Tsukui Lily Garden), in Sagamihara, as a result of delivering a letter to the official residence of the House of Representatives speaker hinting that he might commit mass murder of mentally disabled people.

At one point, Uematsu had aspired to become an elementary school teacher, and told those around him that he wanted to help others through his work. But his discriminatory attitudes showed signs of increasing when in July, a person believed to be Uematsu tweeted, "There are only old men and women in graying Japan," and "Spotted a fatso on the train."

In response to a deadly shooting incident in Munich, the account owner tweeted on July 23, "A shooting spree in Germany. It would've been fun if it had been a toy."

A tweet, "I pray for world peace. Beautiful Japan!!!!!!," which was apparently posted shortly before Uematsu turned himself in to police on July 26, was accompanied by a selfie showing him in a red tie and black suit, with a smile on his face.

When Uematsu was hospitalized in February as the result of an emergency decision made by the Sagamihara Municipal Government, his urine tested positive for marijuana. The background photo for the Twitter account believed to be that of the suspect is an image with a message that reads, "Marijuana is not dangerous."

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