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Tokyo High-Speed Train Stabber Reportedly Wanted to Kill ‘Happy-Looking Couples, Women’

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The assailant injured five men and five women overnight between 6 and 7 August. One of the victims, a 20-year-old university student is currently in critical condition after being stabbed multiple times in the back and in the chest.

The suspect in the stabbing attack that took place on a Tokyo high-speed train, 36-year-old Yusuke Tsushima, has told the police that he targeted couples and women and wanted to commit this crime for a long time, Japan’s Kyodo News has reported, citing anonymous investigative sources.

“I have been wanting to kill happy looking women for the past six years. Anyone would have been okay […] I came to want to kill happy-looking couples and women”, the man purportedly said.

Tsushima allegedly said the desire to kill emerged after suffering ridicule at social gatherings and being rejected on dates. The attack on the train, however, was not premeditated, according to the reports in the Japanese media. Tsushima was purportedly reported for shoplifting by a female worker at a grocery store in Tokyo and the man was planning to kill the staffer. Yet, upon learning that the store was already closed on 6 August, he reportedly decided to kill people on a rapid express Odakyu Electric Railway train.

According to Kyodo News, the perpetrator chose this train for its longer periods between stops, thus expecting people would have “no space to flee”. The train carried around 400 commuters, when Tsushima attacked them wielding a 20-cm knife, stabbing 10 passengers in the process.

The man also reportedly brought cooking oil and a lighter with him, allegedly planning to start a fire during the attack.

© AFP 2021 / Yoshikazu TSUNO

One of the victims, a 20-year-old female university student, was left in critical condition after suffering multiple blows to her chest and back. He injured five men and five women in the incident, but so far all remain alive. Tsushima fled the scene after the attack, but was eventually apprehended at a convenience store.

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