9 hurt as car rams into famed Tokyo street on New Year’s Eve

9 hurt as car rams into famed Tokyo street on New Year’s Eve

TOKYO,. Nine people were hurt, one seriously, when a man deliberately ploughed his car into crowds celebrating New Year’s Eve along a famous Tokyo street, police and media said today.

With an “intent to murder”, 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe drove a small vehicle into Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s fashion district of Harajuku at 10 minutes past midnight, a police spokesman told AFP.

According to national broadcaster NHK, Kusakabe told police he was acting in “retribution for the death penalty” without giving more precise details.

One college student suffered serious injuries during the attack and was undergoing surgery, the police spokesman told AFP.

Kusakabe was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, police said.

According to local media, Kusakabe hit a total of nine people on the street, which was closed to car traffic at the time as revellers packed the area to celebrate New Year.

Takeshita Street is packed with small shops and is considered the centre of youth culture and fashion in Japan, attracting tens of thousands of international tourists every day. — AFP