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Japan court jails man for 23 years over Joker train attack

Japanese court sentences man dressed as the Joker to 23 years in jail for attempted murder and train fire attack in Tokyo on Halloween 2021. Violent crime rare in Japan.



TOKYO, JAPAN — A Japanese court on Monday sentenced a man to 23 years in jail after finding him guilty of attempted murder and starting a fire on a train in Tokyo while dressed as comic book villain the Joker.

The verdict for the 2021 Halloween attack was handed down by the Tokyo District Court’s Tachikawa branch, a spokeswoman for the court told AFP.

Kyota Hattori, 26, was convicted of stabbing a male passenger in his 70s and trying to kill 12 others by starting a fire inside a train, Jiji Press and other local media said.

Hattori had reportedly told investigators that he wanted to kill people and be given the death penalty. He also told them he had spread lighter fluid in the train.

Violent crime is rare in Japan, but there are occasional stabbings and even shootings, including the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe last year.

In August 2021, nine people were wounded, one of them seriously, in a stabbing attack on a commuter train in Tokyo, with the suspect later handing himself in after fleeing the scene.

In a separate attack that same month, two people suffered burns in an acid attack at a Tokyo subway station.


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