Police treating attack that left one dead, two injured as premeditated.

At roughly 9:45 on the evening of June 9, while onboard a Shinkansen bullet train running between Tokyo and Osaka, 22-year-old Ichiro Kojima took a knife out of his backpack and began slashing two women, also in their 20s, who were seated near him. Kotaro Umeda, a 38-year-old businessman returning to his home in central Japan following a business trip to Yokohama, bravely came to the women’s defense, allowing them to escape but losing his life as Kojima turned his attacks on him.

Kojima, an unemployed resident of the town of Okazaki in Aichi Prefecture, was subdued and turned over to the Kanagawa Prefectural police after the train arrived at Odawara Station. He currently awaits trial, but further details are emerging as he is questioned by investigators.

Kojima has told the police that he purchased the knife he used in March, and the incident is now being treated as a premeditated crime, though Kojima did not know any of the victims prior to the attack. More disturbing still, though, is that he has also stated that if he is released from prison, he will commit a crime again.

Though Kojima did not explicitly specify that this hypothetical crime would also be a homicide, that very much seems to be the implication, as the Shinkansen stabbing appears to be his only significant run-in with the law. Considering Japanese society’s widespread support of the death penalty, Kojima’s lack of remorse may be a sign that he’s hoping the authorities will end his life for him, though prosecutors have yet to issue a statement as to what sort of punishment they’ll be seeking.

Sources: Livedoor News/TV Asahi News via Hachima Kiko, Nitele News 24 via Hachima Kiko, The Mainichi
Top image: Pakutaso