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2008年6月11日 (水)


2008/6/11 --The Asahi Shimbun, June 10(IHT/Asahi: June 11,2008)

EDITORIAL: Akihabara killing spree


A busy Tokyo street, closed to vehicular traffic and teeming with shoppers, turned into a scene of horror Sunday when a man went on an indiscriminate rampage, killing seven people and injuring 10 in the middle of Akihabara, the world-famous shopping district for electronic goods.



(vehicular=運搬用の、乗り物用の) (teem=人などで溢れている、満ちている) (rampage=凶暴な行動、激怒)

The victims included teenage university students and a retired dentist in his 70s shopping with his son.


"This feels like the worst nightmare," said a bereaved family member upon being informed of the tragedy.

We cannot begin to fathom the shock and grief of those seven people as their lives flickered out.


(bereaved=家族に先立たれた) (fathom=測る、推し測る、推量する) (flicker=消滅する、無くなる、亡くなる)

This is a truly horrendous crime. The suspect, a 25-year-old man, was quickly subdued and arrested. What could have driven him to commit this act of insanity?


(horrendous=恐ろしい、ものすごい、法外な) (subdued=おとなしくなる、静かになる) (insanity=狂喜、錯乱)

The suspect, a dispatch factory worker in Shizuoka Prefecture, apparently rented a truck and drove it to Akihabara. We wonder if his intent was to "make news" in this well-known shopping district.


The man was quoted by police as saying: "I have become sick of this world and tired of life, so I did it. It didn't matter who I killed."


But that is hardly justification for killing and injuring 17 people. Despairing of one's lot in life is no excuse for indiscriminately killing innocent passers-by.


(despairing=絶望した、やけの、絶望、やけくそ) (lot=運、運命、宿命)

According to police, the man was a no-show at work last Friday. The following day, he arranged to rent the truck. Does this mean the rampage was premeditated? If so, his cold-bloodedness is truly frightening.


premeditate =前もって計画する、準備する)

The murderous intent that must have grown within him reflects a self-centered mind.


Just hours before the man went on his killing spree, he apparently used his cellphone to post the following message on an Internet site: "I'm going to kill people in Akihabara."

We are distressed that nobody caught this as a warning of what was to come.


Over the 10 years through 2007, there have been 67 cases of random killings and attempted attacks. In March this year, a 24-year-old man fatally stabbed one person and injured seven at a JR station in Ibaraki Prefecture. He, too, reportedly told police he didn't care who his victims were. Investigators have yet to establish this man's motive.


The suspect in the Akihabara attack is a native of Aomori Prefecture, where he attended a senior high school for academically motivated students. What could have happened in his seemingly untroubled life that made him so desperate? Was he disillusioned with his job or family or daily life? Was there something about society that made his life unbearably miserable?


(desperate=自暴自棄の、破れかぶれの、やけっぱちの) (disillusioned=~に幻滅した)

For some time now, Japanese society has been perceived as being oppressive. Still, this is emphatically no excuse for attacking fellow members of society.


(perceived=気づく、感づく) (oppressive=制圧的な、圧制的な、不当に厳しい、過酷な、苦しい、辛い)


We certainly hope that authorities' investigations and the criminal justice system will get to the bottom of this man's troubled mind, but that won't be enough. If there is something in our seemingly peaceful society that drives some young people into explosive rage, we must put a name to it and do something about it.


(seemingly=一見すると、外見から判断すると) (explosive rage=暴走) (rage=激怒、憤激、憤慨、怒り、荒れ狂う様、脅威)

Failing to do so, we will never be able to answer the anguished question of the victims and survivors of the Akihabara rampage: "Why me?"



--The Asahi Shimbun, June 10(IHT/Asahi: June 11,2008)

朝日新聞 6月10日号 (英語版 2008年6月11日発行)


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