On Oct 23, 2016, a series of explosion occurred all at sudden in Utsunomiya, a local city in Japan. On the day, a local folk festival was ongoing nearby the place of explosion. It is very rare in Japan to encounter such an incident. People felt fearful to be involved in a terror attack. But it was not.
These acts were proven to be caused by an old pensioner. He was an ex-soldier of Japan Self Defense Force. After an investigation, his body was found in the core of an explosion. His house and car were also destroyed by fire. A total of three passengers were injured by the blast. Fortunately, nobody except the pensioner was killed by the incident. The police are still investigating the case as considering the man might have committed a suicide coinciding to kill other people together.
Independent: Japan explosions: Pensioner suicide bomber behind deadly park blast
Regarding the motivation of the pensioner to kill himself, foreign media have not reported precisely. According to Japanese media, there is complicated situation around the man other than financial issues.
He had a daughter, but she got mentally ill. She was often hospitalized involuntarily to a psychiatric hospital. It seems she was suffering from a severe mental illness.
And the pensioner was conflicting with his wife for a long time. According to the mention of the pensioner himself, his wife did not admit her daughter’s illness and relied on occult solutions. The daughter became violent, and after the family had made a quarrel, the wife sued him on domestic violence. After all, the pensioner was demanded not to get touch with his family by the court. Furthermore, he had to pay a considerable amount of compensation fee to his wife. It hurt him so much both financially and psychologically.
The relationship between him and his wife remains uncertain. Domestic violence is often seen also in Japan. The offender seldom recognizes his act as problematic. On the other hand, some people claim that they are victimized in a grandiose manner, or simply mimic as if their partner is violent. I am not sure that the court made a right decision in this case. It is possible that the pensioner was aggressive. But at the same time, the court had to consider how to treat their daughter for improving her mental status. If she had schizophrenia, proper medical treatment was necessary even in an involuntary way.
The pensioner became depressive and perhaps passive aggressive. He frequently made a complaint about the family, the court, and the society. Several comments written by him remain on the internet. He seems to have had thought that the only way to make others admit his agony was to commit a serious offense.
This miserable case is not a simple suicide, neither a selfish crime. Psychiatric treatment to his daughter, the relationship among his family, the court decision, and the environment around elder people, are all responsible for the onset of this case. In similar settings, it is often seen that a senior citizen kills their disabled partner or child, in Japan. We have to be all aware of this kind of risk. Avoiding from solitude and ignorance is prioritized, I believe.