Incident Summary:

01/01/2019: An assailant rented a vehicle and drove into crowds celebrating New Year's Day in Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan. At least eight people were injured in the attack. After ramming the vehicle into the crowd, the assailant fled the scene and was later arrested by authorities. A tank of kerosene was discovered in the vehicle and the assailant indicated that he had planned to set fire to crowds at Meiji Shrine with the kerosene and a sprayer. The assailant, Kazuhiro Kusakabe, claimed responsibility for the incident and stated that the attack was carried out in retaliation for the execution of Aum Shinrikyo members.




East Asia

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The incident occurred in the Harajuku area of the Shibuya district.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Not Applicable
Specific Description Civilians
Nationality of Target Japan
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Gasoline or Alcohol
Vehicle (not to include vehicle-borne explosives, i.e., car or truck bombs)
Weapon Details
A 20-liter tank of kerosene attached to a high-pressure water sprayer and a vehicle were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Casualty numbers conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the majority reliable estimates are reported here.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Personal claim)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 8 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 8
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Australia: Eight injured in Tokyo as vehicle ploughs through New Year's Day crowd in Harajuku," ABC Online, January 1, 2019.
"Thailand: 9 hurt as car crashes into New Year's crowd in Tokyo," Bangkok Post Online, January 1, 2019.