Tokyo vehicle attack: Driver hits New Year’s revelers in city’s Harajuku district

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Eight New Year's revellers have been left injured after a minivan driver slammed into pedestrians in downtown Tokyo.

Another man was slightly injured after Kusakabe allegedly struck him after getting out of the vehicle, the police said.

Kazuhiro Kusakabe, who was arrested for attempted murder, confessed to having the intent to kill when he rammed his auto through the crowd in Harajuku's Takeshita Street at 12.10am on Tuesday, said the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.

In a statement, the DFA said there was no Filipino among 9 persons who sustained minor to serious injuries in the attack.

The road was closed to traffic over the New Year, largely because of its proximity to the Meiji Shrine, which is a popular destination for people on New Year's Eve - many Japanese visit local or famous shrines over the new year period to pray for good fortune in the coming year.

NHK footage showed the van with a smashed front and paramedics carrying the injured on stretchers into ambulances.

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One witness told NHK the scene was "ghastly". Local media reported the student was in a coma.

According to national broadcaster NHK, Kusakabe told police he was acting in "retribution for the death penalty" without giving more precise details.

A tank with 20 litres of kerosene was also found inside the rented auto, which he said was meant to be used to set the vehicle ablaze after the rampage.

Kusakabe fled the scene, but police found him in a nearby park about half an hour later. It also attracts worldwide tourists in large numbers.

Unlike in other major cities, New Year in Tokyo is a relatively muted affair.

By midday Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of tourists had returned to the street filled with bright pink ornaments, although blue tarpaulins covering the scene of the case remained.

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