Slasher on Shinkansen Admits Murderous Intent in 1st Hearing


Odawara, Kanagawa Pref., Nov. 28 (Jiji Press)--A 23-year-old man alleged to have killed or injured three passengers with a hatchet on a Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train last year admitted during his first court hearing on Thursday that he intended to murder his victims.

The suspect, Ichiro Kojima, pleaded guilty in the lay judge trial at Yokohama District Court's branch in the city of Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. "It's true that I attacked (the victims) with an intent to kill (them)," he said. A verdict is set to be handed down on Dec. 18.

According to the indictment, Kojima is suspected of assaulting the three people with a hatchet on the westbound Nozomi No. 265 train on the night of June 9, 2018, while it was traveling between the stations of Shin-Yokohama and Odawara in Kanagawa.

Kojima allegedly injured two of them, both women, who were sitting next and close to him, and killed the third, male passenger, 38-year-old corporate employee Kotaro Umeda, from the city of Amagasaki in the western Japan prefecture of Hyogo, who was trying to stop the suspect's attack on the female passengers.

"I unfortunately could not kill her," Kojima said of the woman who was next to him. On the male victim, he said, "I tried to kill a person in the aisle, and I did it well."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press