Japanese Man, dressed in Joker costume, arrested in Tokyo for injuring 17 people

A Japanese man took the Halloween tricks way too far by attacking passengers on a Tokyo train line on Sunday, injuring 17 people before he was arrested on the spot.

The attack occurred on the Keio express line bound for Shinjuku, the world's busiest railway station, as many party-goers were headed into the city centre for Halloween gatherings.

Witnesses told public broadcaster NHK how petrified passengers had fled to adjoining carriages and jumped out of windows during the attack, which occurred on Sunday, when the Japanese capital was full of Halloween revellers, many in costume.

The NHK news agency quoted police as saying that the man had said he had "wanted to kill someone since June" because he had quit his job and seen many of his friendships fall apart.

It added that he dressed like the Joker because he "looked up to him".

Local media reports say that the suspect told authorities he wanted to kill people so he could be sentenced to death.

Photos and videos posted on social media showed a man wearing a green shirt and a purple suit. He allegedly attacked passengers on the Keio Line train with a knife and started a fire inside the carriage using lighter fluid.

Kyodo said a male passenger in his 70s was in critical condition after being stabbed in the chest. Sixteen other people suffered minor injuries, including smoke inhalation.

“At first I thought it was something like a Halloween event. But I rushed away as a man carrying a long knife came in. I was very fortunate not to be injured,” a man who was on the train told NHK.

The perpetrator showed no emotion during the attack, a female passenger said.

“He held a knife and started spreading liquid,” she said. “He was committing this act without showing any emotion, just mechanically. I think that brought fear to everyone.”

Violent crime is rare in Japan but there have been a number of high-profile knife attacks in recent years. Ten people were injured by a knife-wielding man on another Tokyo commuter train in August. In 2019, a man attacked a group of schoolchildren waiting for a bus in Kawasaki, killing two and injuring at least 18 others.

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