Vehicle Terror in Tokyo

Looks  like a lone follower of the executed Aum Shinrikyo guru Shoko Asahara who bears a grudge that his boss was executed.

Attacker slams van into NYE crowds 

Nine people were hurt, one seriously, when a man deliberately ploughed his van into crowds celebrating New Year’s Eve along a famous Tokyo street, police say.

With an “intent to murder”, 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove a small vehicle into Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s fashion district of Harajuku at 10 minutes past midnight, a police spokesman told AFP.

The street was packed with people heading to a shrine for New Year’s prayers, the BBC reports

Police inspect a car whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds on Takeshita street in Tokyo.
Police inspect a car whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds on Takeshita street in Tokyo.Source:AFP

According to national broadcaster NHK, Kusakabe told police he was acting in “retribution for the death penalty” without giving more precise details.

In other news:

NHK footage showed a small box vehicle with a smashed front and paramedics carrying people on stretchers into ambulances.

“It is a shock. Really scary, isn’t it?” one bystander told NHK. Police immediately cordoned off the street, which was packed with people celebrating the New Year.

One college student suffered serious injuries during the attack and was undergoing surgery, the police spokesman told AFP.

Kusakabe was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said. According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of eight people and assaulted another on the street, which was closed to car traffic at the time as revellers packed the area to celebrate New Year.

Takeshita Street is packed with small shops and is considered the centre of youth culture and fashion in Japan, attracting tens of thousands of international tourists every day.

The man injured several pedestrians who had gathered for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The man injured several pedestrians who had gathered for New Year’s Eve celebrations.Source:AP

Unlike in other major cities, New Year in Tokyo is a relatively muted affair. There is no major fireworks display and no central point where drunken revellers gather to see in the New Year.

Instead, Japanese people tend to see in the New Year with families and quietly go to the shrine to pray for good fortune in the year to come.

With an “intent to murder”, 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove a small vehicle into Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s fashion district of Harajuku at 10 minutes past midnight, a police spokesman told AFP.

According to national broadcaster NHK, Kusakabe told police he was acting in “retribution for the death penalty” without giving more precise details.

One college student suffered serious injuries during the attack and was undergoing surgery, the police spokesman told AFP.

Kusakabe was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said. According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of nine people on the street, which was closed to car traffic at the time as revellers packed the area to celebrate New Year.

Takeshita Street is packed with small shops and is considered the centre of youth culture and fashion in Japan, attracting tens of thousands of international tourists every day.

Car crashes into New Year’s crowd in Tokyo in suspected terror attack, eight injured

Policemen stand next to a car which plowed into pedestrians on New Year day in Tokyo, Japan, January 1, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) – A car plowed into crowds celebrating New Year’s Day early on Tuesday in a suspected terror attack, leaving eight people injured, including one who was unconscious.

A police spokesman said one suspect, in his 20s, had been detained and that he had described the incident as an “act of terror”. The spokesman declined to elaborate.

The incident happened shortly after midnight local time on Monday in a popular tourist area of Harajuku, near Meiji Shrine, in central Tokyo.

“I can’t believe it, this is a place I’m familiar with, so it’s very shocking,” said Tatsuhiro Yaegashi, a 27-year-old worker in the area.