The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the death penalty given to a man who was convicted of killing five people and injuring 10 others in a 1999 rampage at JR Shimonoseki Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan. The top court’s second petty bench turned down an appeal filed by the defendant Yasuaki Uwabe, 44.
In Friday’s decision, Justice Isao Imai rejected the defense counsel’s argument that the defendant was insane at the time of the rampage. ‘‘The defendant, under thorough preparations and a firm will to kill, staged an indiscriminate attack on innocent people at the station that is extremely atrocious,” the judge said. Uwabe took 120 sleeping pills and drove a rental car into the railway station on Sept 29, 1999, running over seven people. He then attacked eight other people there with an 18-centimeter kitchen knife. Five of the 15 died.