A suspected arsonist who suffered life-threatening burns on 90% of his body has undergone surgery using mostly artificial skin, Japanese media said.
Shinji Aoba is accused of killing 36 people and injuring 32 others after allegedly setting fire to an animation studio in Kyoto in July as he reportedlybelieved the company stole his story ideas.
The 41 – year-old suspect was in a critical condition, with third degree burns that destroyed the innermost layer of his skin.
A decision was made to treat the victims first as Aoba only had a 1% chance of survival.
There was also a lack of human skin available as organ donation is rare in Japan so the victims were given priority to receive donor skin first, doctors told Kyodo News.
Aoba was not expected to survive as so much of his body was burned, but in early September doctors announced his burns were no longer life-threatening and he would undergo skin graft surgery in Osaka.
In a first for Japan for such extensive burns, surgeons used mostly artificial skin and only small patches of his own skin in the reconstructive surgery.
His treatment and recovery will be presented at an academic conference to be held next year.
Police began questioning Aoba in September, when he was no longer in a life-threatening state, and at the beginning of November he reportedly admitted the arson allegations.
After he is sufficiently recovered from his burns and is able to withstand being held in detention, he will be arrested on suspicion of murder and other charges.
Aoba allegedly poured fuel into the reception of the Kyoto Animation Co studio, where 71 people were working, on 18 July then set it alight.
He told told police he carried out the attack because the studio stole his story ideas after he sent two manuscripts to
The company said it received them but they never passed the initial screening process.
Aoba told told hospital staff he expects to be sentenced to death, which is carried out in Japan by hanging usually only for mass murderers.
Kyoto Animation, known as KyoAni by fans, is known for hits such as K-On! and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.