Knife attacker on Tokyo commuter train wanted to kill ‘happy women’

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The man alleged to have wounded 10 people in a knife attack on a Tokyo commuter train late Friday told police he became incensed when he saw women who “looked happy” and wanted to kill them, domestic media reported Saturday.

After the attack, which occurred at around 8:30 p.m. in the front carriage of a train in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, the man in his 30s fled and was later detained by police at the convenience store in neighboring Suginami Ward, investigative sources said.

One victim, a female university student with multiple stab wounds in her back and chest, was seriously wounded, while the rest suffered less severe injuries.

The Sankei newspaper reported that suspect told police: “I began feeling like I wanted to kill women who looked happy about six years ago. Anyone was fine, I just wanted to kill a lot of people.”

Other media, including broadcaster NHK, reported similar quotes from suspect.

The man admitted to the assault under questioning and will likely face attempted murder charges, the sources said.

A worker at the convenience store called the police after the man said, “I am the suspect in the incident reported by news media. I am tired of fleeing,” according to the sources.

The man left what is believed to be the weapon and a mobile phone on the train, they added.

At the time of the incident, several hundred passengers were on the train and the driver brought it to a halt after hearing loud voices from the train cars.

After the suspect had left the scene, train crew guided passengers to walk along the tracks to a nearby station.

One of the train’s passengers, a 19-year-old university student who witnessed the incident, said, “There were a lot of people with blood on their clothes and running away in panic.”

The incident prompted Odakyu to temporarily suspend train operations between Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and Mukogaoka-yuen Station in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Violent crime is rare in japan but there have been a spate of knife attacks by assailants unknown to the victims.

In June 2008, a man in a light truck drove into a crowd in the popular Akihabara district and then jumped out of the vehicle and started stabbing pedestrians, leaving seven dead.

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