Stabbing spree on Tokyo train leaves 10 injured

Attacker told police he was targeting women who looked happy, local media report

A man who stabbed 10 passengers on a commuter train in Tokyo was arrested hours later after turning himself in, Japanese police have said.

Public broadcaster NHK said the 36-year-old man told police he wanted to kill women who appeared happy, and chose his targets at random. The initial victim, a woman in her 20s, was in a serious condition, according to NHK and other Japanese media. Police identified the attacker as Yusuke Tsushima.

The Tokyo Fire Department said nine of the 10 injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals, while the 10th was able to walk away. All of the injured were conscious, fire department officials said.

The Japanese capital is currently hosting the Olympics, which end on Sunday. The site of the stabbing spree was about 15 kilometres away from the main National Stadium.

The stabbing occurred near Seijogakuen station, according to railway operator Odakyu Electric Railway.

NHK said the suspect left his knife behind as he fled and later walked into a convenience store, identified himself as the suspect on the news, and said he was tired of running away. The store manager called police after seeing bloodstains on the man’s shirt.

TBS television said he told police he intended to kill women who “looked happy”. He also told police that he chose to stage the attack inside a train because it offered the chance to kill a large number of people.

The man was also carrying cooking oil and a lighter, with which he allegedly intended to use to set a fire inside the carriage, NHK reported, quoting police.

Witnesses at the station where the train stopped said passengers rushed out of the carriages smeared with blood, shouting that there had been a stabbing and asking for first aid. Dozens of paramedics and police arrived at the station.

While shooting deaths are rare in Japan, the country has had a series of high-profile killings with knives in recent years.

In 2019, a man carrying two knives attacked a group of schoolgirls waiting at a bus stop just outside Tokyo, killing two people and injuring 17 before killing himself. In 2018, a man killed a passenger and injured two others in a knife attack on a bullet train. In 2016, a former employee at a home for the disabled allegedly killed 19 people and injured more than 20.

Updated: August 7th 2021, 9:23 AM