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Bullet train stabbing victim tried bravely to overpower suspect: sources


YOKOHAMA -- A man who was killed in a machete rampage on a bullet train stood up after falling down while struggling with his attacker and attempted to overpower the suspect, investigative sources said.

Details of the incident surfaced after analysis of on-board security camera footage, according to the sources.

The suspect in the incident, 22-year-old Ichiro Kojima from the Aichi Prefecture city of Okazaki, has been referred to prosecutors on suspicion of murder.

According to the sources, Kojima pulled out a machete from his bag on the Nozomi No. 265 superexpress bound for Shin-Osaka from Tokyo, and attacked a woman sitting on his right.

The victim, Kotaro Umeda, 38, who was sitting behind them, grabbed the suspect's arm in a bid to stop him. However, Umeda fell down while struggling with the suspect. Kojima then began to attack another woman in the same row across the aisle, say the sources.

Umeda stood up and attempted to overpower Kojima, but the victim was apparently slashed repeatedly by the suspect. Umeda died in the incident, while the two women were injured. A knife was subsequently found stuck in Umeda's right leg.

Kojima, an unemployed man, left his home in December last year and traveled to Nagano Prefecture by bicycle, according to Kanagawa Prefectural Police. He is believed to have slept outdoors while staying in Nagano Prefecture for several months before traveling to Tokyo.

(Japanese original by Tsumuki Nakamura, Yokohama Bureau)

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