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A hikikomori who concluded the only way to end his shut-in status was to burn his home to the ground is currently battling arson charges, on the grounds that he was insane at the time.

The 22-year-old unemployed hikikomori stands accused of dousing the ground floor of his abode in kerosene, stuffing his oven with newspaper as kindling, and then setting the whole place ablaze.

The 2 storey 70 square metre dwelling subsequently burned to the ground. Nobody was injured in the fire.

He has been charged with arson involving an inhabited building, charges he admits but denies responsibility for with the defence that he was afflicted with a mental illness.

In the opening hearing of his trial, prosecutors insisted he was culpable:

“The accused pursued a hikikomori lifestyle and himself said ‘I’ll continue being a hikkimori as long as I have my home,’ so there is no scope for denying the crime or his motives.”

On the other hand, his defence contends he was not culpable due to his crazed hikikomori status:

“He was in no way in a state to control his own actions.”

The trial continues, although online at least his resolve in seeking to leave his hikikomori lifestyle behind – without stabbing to death his family, at least – has won him admirers.

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