Commuters say they feared for their lives during the incident.

At approximately 3:40 p.m. on 21 March, a 110 emergency call was made to police with a report that a man was wielding a knife at the turnstiles of the east entrance to JR Shinjuku Station.

According to witnesses, the man appeared to be agitated and was swinging the knife around in the crowded area.

▼ One witness recounted the way the man brandished the knife for this television news report.

Railway Police Corps members from the local police headquarters rushed to the scene and arrested the assailant, who was found to be in possession of a 12-centimetre (4.7-inch) long knife.

▼ This video shows the man being led away by police.

In Japan, police officers are often seen with long sticks called keijō, which are used to fend off attackers as part of a martial art that subdues enemies with a minimum amount of bodily harm.

Police say the assailant was irritated after having an argument with his family and with no job, he wanted to go to prison. The unemployed 25-year-old was charged for being in violation of the Swords and Firearm Control Law.

According to police officers, no one was injured during the incident, but plenty of commuters who were at the scene took to Twitter, saying it was a frightening experience.

“This was way too scary. He was just standing there with a knife for all to see.”
“I saw a whole lot of people running away at the station so I looked to see what was going on and was shocked to see a man standing there waving a knife around.”
“I was just at Shinjuku Station and found myself standing right next to the random attacker. I was in such a state of shock I felt like crying.”
“About 50 people started running away from the turnstiles in a panic, saying ‘that was frightening’ over and over. It was chaos.”
“I feared for my life. I really thought someone was going to be killed.”

With so many commuters passing through Shinjuku Station, which is the busiest train station in the world, it’s lucky that nobody was injured during the incident. The assailant, who was subdued by officers without injury, is now in police custody.

Sources: Livedoor News via Hachima Kikou, Nikkei
Featured image: Twitter/@fuwafuwadesuyo