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Driver plows through crowds on Tokyo's Takeshita street, injuring nine

02 January 2019

Nine people were injured when a man rammed a van into crowds celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japanese authorities said.

The incident happened in the tourist and shopping destination of Harajuku on Takeshita Street, which is close to the Meiji Shrine.

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

NHK footage showed a small box vehicle with asmashed front and paramedics carrying people on stretchers into ambulances.

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

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Kusakabe told police he drove from Osaka with the intent of killing pedestrians he hit.

One witness told NHK it was a "ghastly scene".

Police said eight people were hurt by the vehicle when it auto drove into the crowd, including a young male who was taken to hospital in critical condition, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Kusakabe drove around 140 meters the wrong way on the one-way street, hitting eight men aged between 19 to 51, the police said.

A police spokesman said a man has been detained over the incident and that he had described the incident as an "act of terror", Reuters reported.

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Local media reported that the student was in a coma.

Among the victims, a teenager was seriously injured when Kusakabe rammed the rental auto with an Osaka license plate into the pedestrians.

Takeshita Street is packed with small shops and is considered the centre of youth culture and fashion in Japan, attracting tens of thousands of global tourists every day.

No Filipino was hurt after a vehicle rammed into a crowd of revelers in Central Tokyo on New Year's Day, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

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Driver plows through crowds on Tokyo's Takeshita street, injuring nine