Monday, June 9, 2008



Once a peaceful country, where crime on normal citizens are rare, in recent times Japan is seeing an increase of violent crime.

The lunchtime assault sent thousands of pedestrians into a panic in Tokyo's crowded Akihabara district, an electronics and video game area wildly popular among the country's cyber-wise youth.

A 25-year-old man, Tomohiro Kato, was arrested with blood on his face. Police said Kato provided no motive for the attack -- other than he wanted to murder strangers.

"The suspect told police that he came to Akihabara to kill people," said Jiro Akaogi, a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department.

"He said he was tired of life. He said he was sick of everything," Akaogi said.

The violence began when he crashed a rented, two-ton truck into pedestrians. Kato jumped out and began stabbing the people he'd knocked down with the truck, then turned on horrified onlookers, police said.

Police confirmed seven deaths -- six men and one woman -- but they could not say whether the victims had died of injuries from the truck or were stabbed to death.

In total he stabbed 17 people in three minutes, killing at least seven in a grisly attack that shocked Japan.

"He was screaming as he was stabbing people at random," an unidentified male witness told public broadcaster NHK.

A witness also told NHK the suspect dropped his knife after police threatened to shoot him.

As night fell on Akihabara, several pedestrians stopped by and prayed at the crime scene. A bouquet of flowers, bottles of green tea and incense sticks were placed at the site.,,cnn

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