Arson attempt by passenger on Japan’s Shinkansen shuts down bullet train line – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Arson attempt by passenger on Japan’s Shinkansen shuts down bullet train line

Written by on November 8, 2021


Arsonist references Halloween night train crime in Tokyo.

Japan takes great pride in its rail network, which is not only one of the cleanest and most reliable in the world, but also one of the safest. All of that goes double for the high-speed Shinkansen lines, which made an incident that occurred on Monday morning especially shocking.

Shortly after 8:50 a.m., the Sakura 401 Shinkansen was heading south along the Kagoshima Route of the Kyushu Shinkansen, on Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu. Sometime after the train pulled out of Kumamoto Station, an elderly passenger in the number 3 car began pouring a liquid substance on the floor of the train. Next, he took out a lighter and lit a wad of paper, then set the burning mass down in the liquid, in an attempt to ignite it.

Other passengers quickly fled to the adjoining cars as the alarm was sounded. Using a fire extinguisher, a conductor was able to put out the fire before it spread, and no passengers suffered injuries. Police officers boarded the train and placed the man, later identified as 69-year-old Fukuoka City resident Kiyoshi Miyake, under arrest for attempted arson. Regular service along the line resumed approximately one hour after the incident.

Miyake has admitted to the charges, and while the exact liquid he was spreading hasn’t been reported, he made his intent clear. “I thought I’d imitate what happened on the Keio Line last month,” he told investigators, referencing an incident in which a costumed man on Halloween night started a fire onboard a commuter train in Tokyo.

Sources: NHK News Web via Jin, FNN Prime Online
Top image: Wikipedia/ロリ
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