Donations top US$30m for Kyoto Animation arson victims in Japan

Flowers and a drawing with anime characters dedicated to the victims of the fire are seen left outside the Kyoto Animation building which was torched by arson attack, in Kyoto July 19, 2019. — Reuters pic
Flowers and a drawing with anime characters dedicated to the victims of the fire are seen left outside the Kyoto Animation building which was torched by arson attack, in Kyoto July 19, 2019. — Reuters pic

KYOTO, Dec 27 — Donations to Kyoto Animation topped ¥3.3 billion (RM124.4 million) to support survivors and bereaved families after an arson attack on the film studio in July killed over 30 people.

A spokesperson for the Kyoto prefecture government confirmed today the total amount raised following the studio’s decision this week to close the donation account. Kyodo News reported on the figure earlier.

The man suspected of torching the building had been convicted of robbery and carried out the attack because he believed his novel had been plagiarised, NHK and other media have said. Police have confirmed the identity of the suspect as Shinji Aoba, who doused the entrance of the building with petrol before setting it ablaze, media have said, citing police.

Tributes to the victims lit up social media after the attack, with world leaders and Apple Inc’s chief executive offering condolences.

As shock spread over one of the worst cases of mass killing in Japan during the past two decades, the hashtag #PrayforKyoAni, as the studio is known among fans, became popular.

Kyoto Animation, in a quiet suburb about 20 minutes by train from the centre of Kyoto, produces popular “anime” series such as the “Sound! Euphonium”. It is also known for “Violet Evergarden”, which has been shown on Netflix.

Kyoto Animation said earlier this week it would coordinate with a prefectural allocation committee to disperse the funds.

The studio is working on animated films to be released in the spring, aiming to deliver anime “that fosters dreams, hope and excitement to people all over the world.” — Reuters

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