Police arrest man in Osaka train station after stabbing incident leaves 3 passengers wounded

Japanese police officers patrol a train station after a man was arrested at the station in Izumisano, south of Osaka (AP)
Japanese police officers patrol a train station after a man was arrested at the station in Izumisano, south of Osaka (AP)

Police in Japan arrested a man accused of stabbing people with a knife on a train in western Osaka city.

The suspect, 37, who was carrying three knives at the time of the attack on Sunday was arrested from the platform of Rinku Tow station immediately after the stabbings, police in Izumisano city said.

Three people, including a 24-year-old train conductor and two passengers, 23 and 79, were injured after a man suddenly attacked them following an altercation.

Police officers responded to an emergency call from another passenger at 10am local time on Sunday.

A dramatic video of the police’s encounter with the knife-wielding man showed police ordering him to drop the knives while others encircled him, maintaining a distance.

The suspect, who was wearing a black t-shirt and grey pants with a mask hanging on his face, ignored police calls and sat on the ground before he was tackled by a police officer who used a stick to knock off the weapons from his hands to arrest him, police said.

The suspect said he had “trouble” with the passengers and claimed to be mentally unfit.

Officials said they are investigating the incident and examining if the man is mentally stable to be charged with criminal offences, reported Kyodo News.

One of the passengers on the train, a woman, told the outlet that the suspect approached a 23-year-old man and slashed his neck in a sudden attack.

The woman said he did not say anything and began attacking.

“The man (who was slashed) jumped up and covered his neck and face with his hands,” she said.

The attack took place on Rinku Town station, which is closest to one of the largest shopping malls in the city and a stop away from Kansai International Airport, Japan’s third-busiest airport.

Violent crimes have remained a rarity in Japan, mainly due to its stringent gun control laws, resulting in only a few gun-related offences each year.

There has been a notable shift in recent times, however, with some prominent incidents involving random knifings on subways and arson attacks.

Additionally, there is a rising apprehension surrounding the emergence of homemade guns and explosives, prompting growing concerns within the nation.

Last year, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was gunned down by a man who emerged from a crowd, wielding a homemade firearm, in one of the most high-profile killings the country has seen.

The suspect, who was identified as 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested immediately after the attack “holding a cylinder-shaped object”, police had said.

The latest incident came two days after a knife-wielding man stabbed at least four pedestrians in South Korea’s Seoul, killing one person and injuring others.

The incident happened in Gwanak-gu on Friday in the proximity to Seoul National University and a 30-year-old suspect was arrested for the fatal stabbing.