Residents Near Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio Building Raise Concerns about Proposal for Memorial Site
posted on by Kim Morrissy
A neighborhood association from the Fushimi Ward in Kyoto has sent a written request to Kyoto Animation not to build a monument or a park at the site of the 1st studio building, which was the target of a tragic fire on July 18 that took 36 lives. The association expressed concern that the large number of visitors that a memorial site could bring would affect the tranquility of the neighborhood.
The association has also asked that its members be allowed to participate in negotiations on how to use the site after the studio building is completely demolished. The association requested that the plans be submitted before the demolition finishes. Preparation for the demolition work started in November, and the actual demolition will start in early January and go through late April.
Kyoto Animation has not yet stated plans for after the demolition. The Mainichi Shimbun reports that a Kyoto Animation representative said, "We'll consider all the factors and make a decision after consulting with the bereaved families, local residents and other related parties."
Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta had stated in an interview two days after the deadly fire at the building that he was considering demolishing the building and creating a public park at the spot of the fire that would include a monument. At the time, Hatta stated, "when I consider the staff and the people in this neighborhood, there are people who don't want to see such a gruesome sight." Hatta added in a press conference on October 18, "It truly pains my heart whenever I see that treasured building in that state."
On July 18, a devastating fire broke out at Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building. A total of 70 people were inside the building at the time. The fire killed 36 people and injured 33 others. In addition to those victims, a man in his 40s on his way to work in the area suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation.
Kyoto Prefectural Police have apprehended a 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire, and they are investigating the case as arson. The man allegedly bought 40 liters of gasoline in two canisters and used a cart to transport the gasoline to Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building. Police have yet to arrest the man as he is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries from the fire. The man is now undergoing rehabilitation and is able to communicate.
Kyoto Animation held a public memorial service for the victims of the fire at the Miyako Messe event hall in Kyoto on November 3-4.
Source: Mainichi Shimbun