Minivan Slams Into New Year's Revelers In Tokyo, Injuring 8 People


A vehicle plowed through a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japan, in the early morning of January 1.

The crash happened on Takeshita Dori, a road well known to tourists and pop culture and fashion fans that runs right by Meiji Shrine in Harajuku.

The suspect, 21, Kazuhiro Kusakabe, was arrested and being questioned, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said on customary condition of anonymity.

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According to the announcement by the MPD, he ran into eight pedestrians - all male - with four of them seriously injured.

The suspect, named as Kazuhiro Kusakabe, initially told police that he had conducted a terrorist act, later saying he had deliberately driven the auto down the narrow street to protest his opposition to the death penalty, telling police he "would not make any excuse" for his actions.

A large tank filled with kerosene was found in the vehicle, police said.

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"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. Local media reported the student was in a coma.

Kusakabe fled the scene, but the police found him in a nearby park about half an hour later.

Japanese media reports that a young man in his 20's drove a rented minivan into a busy street shortly after revelers had rung in the New Year.

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No further details about the attacker's identity have been provided.