Three people killed after being shot and stabbed in Japan
A man armed with a rifle and knife killed a woman and two police officers and wounded another on Thursday in the central Japanese city of Nakano before fleeing and locking himself in alone in the house for several hours, police said.
It was a startling outbreak of violence in Japan, where gun-related murders and other gun incidents are extremely rare. The laws governing the purchase and possession of firearms in Japan are among the strictest in the world.
The attacker, who allegedly told a witness he “wanted to kill”, stabbed the woman before opening fire on police officers who arrived at the scene. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the fourth victim, a man, was in critical condition.
Police said the suspect was arrested early Friday morning after retreating to a house near the city center. The house belongs to a local elected official, who NHK identified as the suspect’s mother. Police confirmed late Thursday that the two women had escaped from the home.
According to local media, about 60 nearby residents were evacuated to a local middle school and authorities warned others to stay indoors.
A witness to the attack told NHK he was working in a field when a young woman ran towards him, begging for help as a man dressed in camouflage, a hat and a face mask chase after her. The man then stabbed her in the back causing her to fall, and then stabbed her in the chest again.
“I asked him, ‘Why are you doing this?’,” the witness told the broadcaster. “He replied, ‘I killed her because I wanted to kill people.’”
The witness said the suspect left the scene but returned with a rifle after two police officers arrived to deal with the stabbing. Pressing the muzzle of his gun to the window of the police car, the suspect fired twice and fled the scene again.
Dr Fabio Gygi, President of the Center for Japanese Studies at SOAS University, said: “The brutality in the emerging details of the attack, including the stabbing of a woman in public and the murder, police officers, making this an “extremely rare” event. London.
“A direct attack on the police is also a direct attack on the government as a whole,” he said. “There’s something shocking about that.”
It is also bound to activate the memories of assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abewho was shot dead with a handgun last year, he said.
Dr Gygi said: “The shock of the assassination is still very much intact. “Less than a year.”
For all of 2022, only nine gun-related incidents were reported in Japan, a country with a population of 125 million. according to the National Police Service. Four people died of gun crime during that period.
In principle, guns are not allowed to be used in the country, except in the case of hunting. To obtain a license, a person must go through 12 steps process — a process that takes a lot of effort and money that few people undertake.
It includes a class on gun safety, passing a written exam and being signed by a doctor for the physical and mental health of the gun buyer. Gun buyers must pass extensive background checks and police checks of gun safes and ammunition lockers used to store firearms.