Asia Blog: China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam

Murder, Stabbings in Akihabara Tokyo

Posted in Crime & Law, Japan by Elliott Back on June 8th, 2008.

Tomohiro Kato from Shizuoka, a man the media first incorrectly reported as a Yakuza gang member, drove a mid-sized truck into pedestrians in Akihabara, the main electronics shopping district of Tokyo on Sunday. The New York Times reports that seven people died from the stabbing rampage, while another 11 were injured.

The truck used by Tomohiro Kato

The man who committed the “stabbing rampage” was Tomohiro Kato. He lived by himself in a small apartment, and had grown tired of life. Kato told police that he had grown “tired” of life, “hated the world” and had gone to Akihabara to kill random people. “Anyone was O.K., I came to Akihabara to kill people. It didn’t matter whom I’d kill,” he said. Kato wore a beige suit and black-and-white sneakers, and was armed with a 12″ survival knife.

Tomohiro Kato being captured by police

There is more coverage at Japan Probe, who’ve compiled a good list of links and news stories about this incident. It goes to show that even in countries that ban guns–like England and Japan–crimes, killing sprees, and murders can still be committed. And if knives are banned, only criminals will carry knives…

Update: Mashable reveals that the killer “twittered” his attack plan on a Japanese forum:

“I’m going to Akihabara to kill people. If my car is destroyed I’ll use a knife. Goodbye everyone.”
“I’m tired.”
“It’s time, I’m leaving.”
“I’ve entered Kanagawa [prefecture, en-route to Tokyo], I’m taking a rest.”
“I’ve reached Akihabara. Today it’s a pedestrian area, I think.”
“It’s time.”

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