Tokyo: minivan hits pedestrians gathered for New Year

Emergency personnel respond to the attack in Shibuya Tokyo

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. He also had a tank of kerosene in the rental auto, which he planned to use to light the vehicle on fire.

The 21-year-old was identified as Kazuhiro Kusakabe.

Eight people were injured, one seriously, by the attacker who struck in the Harajuku fashion district shortly after midnight.

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

One eyewitness told local media that he saw "people collapsed one after another and being helped". Another witness, who runs a clothing shop in the area, said: "I am shocked that something like this happened on Takeshita Street".

Police immediately cordoned off the street, which during the day is packed with tourists trying to get a taste of Japan's extravagant youth and food culture.

Police said one teenage boy had been taken to the hospital after the attack, where he is undergoing an operation. As of 5 a.m. local time, most people had dispersed from the area, Kyodo reported.

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The man was also carrying kerosene in his vehicle, police said.

Kusakabe fled the scene, but police found him in a nearby park about half an hour later.

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.

TV Asahi said officers were investigating whether the suspect is fit for trial. It also attracts global tourists in large numbers.

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

There is no major fireworks display and no central point where revellers gather to see in the New Year.

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