Seven dead in Tokyo knife attack
A man armed with a knife has killed seven people and injured 10 others in central Tokyo, Japanese media say.
The incident occurred in the Akihabara district, a busy shopping area known as Electric Town that is popular with young people and tourists.
A suspect, said to be 25-year-old Tomohiro Kato, has been arrested.
Police spokesman Jiro Akaogi told reporters: “The suspect said he came to Akihabara to kill people. He said he was tired of life”.
The dead include six men, ranging in age from 19 to 74, and a 21-year-old woman, Kyodo News said.
Reports say the suspect drove a rented truck into a crowd in the early afternoon and then began stabbing people at random.
The moments after the stabbings in Tokyo
James Slaymaker, a British man working in Japan, got to the area shortly after the stabbings. He described the scene to BBC News:
“As I walked down the street, I noticed there were a lot of police cars. I noticed there was a guy literally just lying there with tape on his eyes and blood pouring out of the side of him. I was appalled.
When I walked round the corner I saw a woman lying on the floor
Kamran Zaffar, eyewitness
“I could see carnage – bodies everywhere. Some were conscious, some were not, lying by the side of the road and on the road. There were people everywhere, a lot of onlookers.”
Another eyewitness told Kyodo News: ”The man jumped on top of a man he had hit with his vehicle and stabbed him with a knife many times. Walking toward Akihabara station, he slashed nearby people at random.”
The Akihabara district specialises in electronic gadgets and video games and is especially popular with people interested in comic books and distinctive fashion.
It is also home to one of the first shops to sell personal robots and robotics. The area is often crowded on weekends.
Once rare in Japan, there has been an increase in knife crime in recent years.
In January, a 16-year-old school boy armed with two kitchen knives injured several people on a crowded shopping street in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward.
The Akihabara attack occurred on the same date that a man with a history of mental illness went through a primary school in 2001, stabbing children at random.
Eight children died and 15 pupils and teachers were injured in that attack, in a school in Ikeda, in the city of Osaka.
Early reports suggested Mr Kato could have been a gangster, though these were later played down.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Some people are just crazy enough to play “Grand Theft Auto” in real life. I remembered playing “San Andreas” in college where I randomly drove a car into a crowd people and kept whacking them with a baseball bat…I am more disturbed by the fact this guy was around my age range…
It seems like there are underlying tensions in Japanese society at this time. The government of Japan really needs to fix their economy or else moral decay and crime will worsen in Japan.