Kyoto residents' group asks KyoAni not to build memorial at arson attack site
KYOTO -- A neighborhood association has asked Kyoto Animation Co. not to build a monument or a park dedicated to 36 people killed in a July arson attack on the company's studio there, saying that either option could disturb the area's tranquility.
Some "KyoAni" fans and bereaved family members of the dead in the attack on Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio are asking that the property be redeveloped into a site to mourn the victims.
However, the neighborhood association is worried that "if a large number of people were to constantly visit the site, residents could not lead a tranquil life," the president of the association in the western Japanese city's Fushimi Ward said.
In a written request submitted to the firm, the association also asked that its members be allowed to participate in negotiations on how to use the site after the burned-out studio building is pulled down. Moreover, the organization requested that the direction of the site's use be presented before the building is completely torn down in late April 2020. Twenty-three households belonging to the association agreed on the request at a meeting on Dec. 14, members said.
A Kyoto Animation official said, "We'll consider all the factors and make a decision after consulting with the bereaved families, local residents and other related parties."
Full-scale work to tear down the ruins is set to begin in late January, and workers have already put soundproof sheeting around the structure in preparation for the work.
In the July 18 incident, a man poured gasoline out on the first floor of the studio and set fire to it. The fire badly damaged the building, and left 33 people injured in addition to the 36 who lost their lives.
(Japanese original by Yoko Minami, Kyoto Bureau, and Yoko Kunimoto, Osaka Regional News Center)