Tokyo “Joker” train attacker says he was inspired by similar case

A man accused of attempted murder and arson while dressed in a Joker costume on a Tokyo train in 2021 said Tuesday that a similar incident a few months earlier inspired him to alter his original plan of going on a killing spree in Shibuya.

Kyota Hattori, 26, who made the statement during his trial at the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court, admitted to stabbing a man and starting a fire onboard the train but denied the fire was intended to kill other passengers.

Hattori said he conceived of the plan after learning about a knife attack on an Odakyu Electric Railway commuter train in August 2021, in which a man stabbed and slashed 10 passengers. During the incident, the suspect had poured cooking oil inside the carriage but failed to ignite it.

In response to questioning by the defense team, Hattori said he could not clearly remember his actions just before lighting the fire.

“I was quite nervous about committing murder. I was behaving unusually,” he said.

Read more: Kyodo News (Japan)