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On July 26, 2016 a man wielding a knife broke into Tsukui Yamayuriena, a home for the disabled outside of Tokyo and brutally murdered 19 people as they slept, while injuring another 26. Afterwards, he turned himself into a local police station, with the explanation:  “It is better that the disabled disappear.”

Disability advocates have expressed dismay that the massacre – Japan’s deadliest mass killing since World War II – has received so little attention relative to mass killings in Paris, Nice, Orlando, Kabul and Baghdad.

Australian disability activist Carly Findlay wrote, “There was no hashtag. No public outcry. Not even prayers.”

We forget they are individuals whose lives have meaning and value. Their senseless deaths are just as tragically newsworthy and deserving of memorialization as those of all other victims of mass violence.

To read more about this article and the history of disability prejudice, social isolation, and violence towards people with disabilities:


yellow crime tape written in Japanese in front of a building that is in the background

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