Man arrested after setting fire on Kyushu Shinkansen Train

KUMAMOTO (Jiji Press) — A 69-year-old man was arrested Monday after allegedly throwing liquid on the floor and setting fire to it with a lighter on a Kyushu Shinkansen bullet train while it was traveling in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

A passenger put out the fire, and no one was injured. Suspect Kiyoshi Miyake admitted to the crime.

Miyake made the attack in the Kyushu Railway Co. , or JR Kyushu, train bound for Kagoshima-Chuo Station from Hiroshima Station at around 8:45 a.m. (11:45 p.m. Sunday GMT). The Sakura No. 401 train was running between Kumamoto and Shin-Yatsushiro stations at the time of the incident.

According to JR Kyushu and other sources, there were some 30 passengers in car No. 3 of the eight-car train, where the fire occurred.

The Kumamoto prefectural police arrested Miyake on suspicion of attempted arson after putting him into custody at Shin-Yatsushiro Station.

Miyake, a resident of Hakata Ward in the city of Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, which neighbors Kumamoto, admitted to the crime, saying that he tried to copy the knife and arson attack that injured many people on a Tokyo train on Oct. 31, police sources said.

JR Kyushu said a train conductor saw a smoke rising from a seat when checking for abnormalities after hearing an emergency buzzer go off. Right after that, the train, which had 141 passengers at that time, made a temporary stop to confirm safety.

After Miyake, whose occupation is unknown, was taken off the train at Shin-Yatsushiro Station, the train resumed operations and reached Kagoshima-Chuo Station about 50 minutes later than scheduled.