Yusuke Tsushima boarded the train around 8:30 p.m. in the suburban town of Seijogakuenmae, near central Tokyo, armed with a knife, scissors, cooking oil and a lighter, the Associated Press reported. . Although not far from where Tokyo hosts the Olympics, the attacks did not appear to be linked, authorities said.
His first victim was a woman in her twenties, who remained in serious condition on Saturday. Eight of the nine other victims, all conscious, were taken to hospital, while one person was able to escape, the AP reported.
The man reportedly told police he intended to attack a woman who earlier today reported him to police for shoplifting in the store where she worked. When he realized the store was closed for the day, he decided to target the train. He also told police that he chose to organize the attack inside an express train because it offered the possibility of killing large numbers of people.
Tsushima reportedly told police that he developed a desire to kill women who “looked happy”.
After stabbing the first woman, he moved on to other wagons, choosing his targets at random. In a car, he poured cooking oil on the ground and attempted to set it on fire.
The train operator was alerted and stopped the train in the event of an emergency. When he reached the station, Japanese public television NHK reported, passengers, some bloodstained, rushed out of the train cars screaming and asking for first aid.
Tsushima apparently fled by jumping on the rails, but left his gun behind.
The suspect, dressed in a bloodstained shirt, then walked into a convenience store and identified himself as the man on the news and said he was tired of running away. The store manager called the police and was arrested on Saturday morning.
Japan has seen a series of knife attacks in recent years.
In 2019, a man carrying two knives attacked a group of schoolgirls waiting at a bus stop just outside Tokyo, killing two people and injuring 17 before committing suicide.
In 2018, a man killed a passenger and injured two others in a knife attack on a high-speed train. In 2016, a former employee of a home for the disabled killed 19 people by hacking and injured more than 20.