crime

Man says he stabbed train passenger because he kept sitting in priority seats

37 Comments

A 62-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after he stabbed a 34-year-old man at a train station, has told police he did it because the victim used to sit in priority seating for the elderly and disabled.

Police said the suspect, Motokazu Koizumi, a temp worker, got into an argument with the victim, who lives in Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture, while they traveled on the JR Kanjo Line last Wednesday at around 6:50 a.m. When the train stopped at Taisho Station 10 minutes later, they both got off and continued arguing on the platform, station surveillance camera footage showed.

Police said that as they were ascending the stairs toward the exit, Koizumi stabbed the victim in the stomach and then fled amid the rush hour crowd.

Fuji TV reported that Koizumi turned himself after calling police on Thursday morning. During questioning, he said there had been trouble between himself and the victim for the past two months, as they took the same train to and from work most days.

Koizumi, who was sent to prosecutors on Friday afternoon, was quoted by police as saying he got angry because the victim often sat in the priority seating and that he had reprimanded him about it during evening commutes home, but was always ignored. He said he had carried the fruit knife he used in the attack in his coat several times prior to the assault.

Meanwhile, a colleague of the victim, who is still in hospital, told police that he would come into work, saying someone kept trying to pick a fight with him on the train.

© Japan Today

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37 Comments
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I can understand the anger of someone occupying a seat for "person-in-need" and happens far too frequent but can't accept the need for the violence and especially when was the attacker even carrying a knife.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

If the priority seat was only occupied by the victim and no one else need it I don't have a problem with that, so long as he was prepared to give it up for some one who did need it, as for the argument, may be the attacker should have reported it to a member of JR staff first before he took the law into his own hands.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Let’s be clear....priority seats and stabbing...they are only connected if you are mental.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Why he was carrying a fruit knife in the first place? Not a pocket knife, a fruit knife. Perhaps he wanted to stab someone and was actively looking for a victim?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

reported it to a member of JR staff first before he took the law into his own hands.

There are no inspectors or guards on the trains unlike in other countries. There's the driver at the front and a guard in the rear for opening and closing the doors.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have to admit that, there are many 30-something punks that abuse the priority seats. They run onto the train and take the seats, then pretend to instantly sleep. However, stabbing them is not the answer. I’m quite sure this attacker had a few screws loose before the incident.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Those priority seat hoggers are hateful, I've asked them to move a couple of times when I've seen an older or frail person standing, but am ignored. They're usually thirty or forty something males.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I’ve seen jackasses hog the priority seats while pretending to be asleep many times. If a pregnant or elderly lady needs a seat I’ll usually lightly kick the guy’s shoe and tell him to move and they always do. No reason to take it further than that.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I'm one of the people entitled to use the priority seats, which I quickly give up if there's someone in more need than myself.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

LudditeToday  09:40 pm JST

Those priority seat hoggers are hateful, I've asked them to move a couple of times when I've seen an older or frail person standing, but am ignored. They're usually thirty or forty something males.

I would like to point out LudditeToday, that that NOT everyone looks disabled or fits your perceived image of a disabled person. People with MS, back pain, arthritis, maybe siting in that seat.Some people sit there because they don't like siting in the middle of a carriage making sounds people would dream of making, Hearing voice people i have know sit in corners. ( not everyone) but some do. Since we don't wear badges to prove we are disabled, I find if rude if someone asked me to give up a seat I am entitled to use.So i hope you don't judge every MALE, that looks healthy that way.

I've seen this with disabled toilets too, people with bowel disorders, crohns, ulcerative colitis, and people with an ostomy are entitled to use them but because they "LOOK" healthy, LOOK young, aren't in a wheel chair, don't carry a cane, then people think they can't be disabled, can they?

Personally it isn't your job to decide who deserves that seat or toilet or parking space.

But if your fit, healthy then they should offer the seat up but there is no need to be rude to that person, who may look healthy to you.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Lock this nutcase up, he is a danger to society

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

No reason to stab the guy. Just go to another car, there's more than one car with a priority seat. Unless the guy was deliberately following him just to irk him off.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The reason you and others like you are ignored when you ask someone to move out of priority seat so someone else can sit there is because it's really none of your business. There's always a mixed bag of people sitting in those seats, and rare is the case it's all the 4 categories found on the window sticker/signage.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

If it's a crowded train and a person who needs a seat less than others should give it up. If it's a priority seat, they should definitely be reprimanded verbally, by train staff if seen, and by passengers. In other countries they won't let it pass ignored. But carrying a knife is intent, and using it is even worse. The guy was obviously just looking for someone to take out his anger on. Lock him up for carrying a knife (admitted, on numerous occasions, so numerous counts), for bodily harm, and attempted murder. Maybe in prison he'll finally realize you just can't do that because you disagree with someone.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Even when my feet are killing me after a long day of sightseeing, I hate using those seats. It's like signing yourself up for the job of looking out for elderly/hurt/pregnant people- you don't want to miss someone who needs a seat and be "that guy".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Definitely not the right way to go about things.

Based on what the co-worker said, it sounds like the guy had a grudge...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm one who doesn't look disabled at all, but am very disabled. Sad, but maybe the old boy who got stabbed might just be disabled from now.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can understand the frustration of the Elder person, given the attitude of those much younger to him especially on trains. It seems now-a-days, it's mainly the foreigners who respect the Elders, rather than the local Japanese Youth - perhaps this is as a result of the systemic bullying society that demands subservience during schooling and leads to such disdain outside ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yea, looks like more of an issue than just a seat thing. People are known to pick fights for the silliest of reasons.

The reason you and others like you are ignored

Thankfully I wasn’t. The train moderately crowded. Old man, say 70s gets in, walking stick and all. Plus holding the stanchion right in front of the prioritiy seat, swaying every time the train started or stopped. All 3 seated persons were 20s 30s. Not pretending to sleep either. Just either pretending to be or genuinely oblivious to anything outside their smartphones. I lost it, gave a 5-10 second burst (English, as I’m still working on my Japanese). One of them jumped right up and offered. Old man took it, smiled at me, then him. Said arigatou. So, I wouldn’t say it doesn’t pay to speak up.

 because it's really none of your business.

Yup. Just like for able bodied individuals like you and I to keep sitting in the face of those that were kept in mind at design stage. When there’s no takers, use the seats. By all means. But then stay awake and keep a lookout.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It is discrimination to assume young man in priority seat is not handicapped.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@bubblegum. I'm entitled to use a priority seat and I don't look frail or disabled, but if I see someone who obviously needs the seat more than me I will offer it too them. Those ignorant (mostly) men who ignore my requests to move should say that they need the seat rather than pretend that I, or anyone else, is not there. I can't believe they all need the seat more than others.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sorry he had to run, Hopefully now some of those that like to take priority seat and pretend to be asleep will think twice.

And as response to comment above, the seats are for Physically, not mentally disabled. If you look physically healthy and can walk on your own, you shouldnt be sitting there unless you are pregnant or old or carrying a baby ( stroller doesnt count)

I wish more people would mind !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Yuko Maeda, wait till you get pregnant, with back pain an all and bunch of teenagers will ignore you...

It is absolutely everyones business since its a public seating reserved for people with needs

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As a disable person in Japan with dual hip replacements that do not work resulting in me using two walking sticks to move or stand, I can understand Motokazu Koizumi, every time I get on a train the priority seating are filled with students or people in their 20's~30's who are not disabled, they will look at me and then pretend they are asleep, the same happened when my wife was pregnant. I have to say I have use force and have pulled people out of the seats after asking nicely. I have no problems getting physical with selfish idiots sitting in priority seating.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If you look physically healthy and can walk on your own, you shouldnt be sitting there unless you are pregnant or old or carrying a baby ( stroller doesnt count)

You’re incorrect. The priority seats are available to anyone, however you are supposed to give them up for the elderly, pregnant, and physically disabled when the train is full. There is nothing wrong with sitting in priority seats if you are willing to, and do give up your seat to someone who needs it more.

And before you go off about me just wanting to sit in the priority seats - I regularly give up any seat on the train for those who need it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You’re incorrect. The priority seats are available to anyone, however you are supposed to give them up for the elderly, pregnant, and physically disabled when the train is full. There is nothing wrong with sitting in priority seats if you are willing to, and do give up your seat to someone who needs it more.

You're correct but still on the wrong side. In Japan, this doesn't fly because an average Japanese person would not be forward enough to walk up and make you stand up. It's best to not sit in them at all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You're correct but still on the wrong side. In Japan, this doesn't fly because an average Japanese person would not be forward enough to walk up and make you stand up. It's best to not sit in them at all.

That’s why people sitting in them should be aware of those getting on the train.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That’s why people sitting in them should be aware of those getting on the train.

I remember my surprise traveling on the local trains outside of downtown Fukuoka city for a vacation, nobody sat in the those seats. I thought it was so cool.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The priority seats are available to anyone

My Mum always told me, and I hope I taught my kids, that every seat is a priority seat.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I once gestured to a teenager sitting in a silver seat that an old person standing nearby may want to sit there. The teenager gave me a look and then went back to their phone. I then tapped them on the shoulder and said “move”. They seemed annoyed but did get up. Afterwards, I thought, “what are you, the manners police? You wouldn’t do that to someone bigger than you!”

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

While I'm not openly condoning this old mans solution to an arrogant priority seat hogger, perhaps he will now think twice about sitting where he doesn't belong. Vigilante justice

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I guess this punk (Supposing he doesn't require a priority seat!) learned his lesson!!!

Lesson being, it is ALWAYS better to be polite! You never know who you're talking to. The stronger, tougher, more skilled fighter means nothing in a fight, the CRAZIER person always wins. Take that in millennials.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do sit on those priority seats, I only because I want to give it up for someone who really needs it. I do it because many people who gets those seats never give it up for the people in need, especially those middle-aged balding salary men.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I do not sit on the priority seats halo but I get what you are saying. I am back to Portland now for a while and we do not seem to have the problem here. I remember Tokyo though that I wondered why people would not give up seats more. I guess I have to say good for you but hope you do not run into someone like that crazy guy

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Regardless of what’s right and wrong, if you scold someone on the train you risk confrontation. In Japan you can easily be arrested for trying to do something good as it’s most likely that you won’t be believed and the police will side with the local.

Im Japanese who looks foreign and this has happened to me in some form my whole life.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My Mum always told me, and I hope I taught my kids, that every seat is a priority seat.

Very true. Always give up your seat if you believe someone else has greater need.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I"m 66 have had 3 strokes, wear medical bracelets including a pink medical badge my ward office gave me, I often encounter young Japanese in the priority seats, they move if I ask them, no problem but it is irritating that I have to ask them - compared to Japanese who all politely stand on one side of escalators without prompting, so why not observe priority seating policy I wonder? hmmm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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