Sagamihara stabbings

So it’s not exactly “news” in the dictionary definition of the word, but I just learned about it this semester to that makes it eligible in my book. The Sagamihara stabbings refer to an incident in 2016 where a Japanese man broke into a care home for the disabled and stabbed 19 people to death. His motivation was that he believed he was putting these people out of their suffering. I won’t go into an analysis of the criminal-I think it is pretty cut and dry to label him as crazy, if not in the medical sense at least in the societal one- but rather the larger culture of disability discrimination that exists in Japan.┬áMost physical disabilities in Japan are still surrounded with a an attitude of shame and guilt. Accommodations are rare, and many are unemployed. This isnt to say most people in Japan support the mass killing of disabled people, but in comparison to similar cases little information had been released about the victims of this crime. Reuters wrote that this was a direct result of the stigma in Japan towards the disabled community. My personal opinion is that this is an consequence of a society where much of your worth is based on your production and capability, so a disabled person has a had time establishing their value as a person, but I’m not a sociologist. Nevertheless, the problem does exist and deserves wider recognition if it is to be combated.

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