Vehicle plows into New Year's revelers in Tokyo

A car is inspected by police after it injured several pedestrians on Takeshita Street in Tokyo

The crash occurred on Takeshita Street, a popular street for tourists and trendy young Japanese people in the fashionable Harajuku neighbourhood.

The narrow, iconic street is known worldwide as a hub of Japanese youth culture and fashion, and the area famous for its "Harajuku girls", who dress in outlandish, striking costumes.

NHK World said the street, which had been closed to traffic, was packed with people paying a New Year's visit to the Meiji Shrine, which is supposed to bring good luck.

Violent attacks and natural disasters marred New Year's Eve celebrations across the globe.

Policemen stand next to a auto which ploughed into pedestrians on New Year day in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday. One victim is reportedly in a coma.

One eyewitness told local media that he saw "people collapsed one after another and being helped".

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The suspect fled from the scene and assaulted a passerby before he was captured 20 minutes later, NHK said.

The injured ranged in age from teenagers to those in their 50s.

A 21-year-old suspect, named as Kazuhiro Kusakabe, was arrested and being questioned, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said. Among them was a student in his teens who was unconscious and in critical condition.

Police told broadcaster NHK that he initially told then he had conducted a terrorist act, but then later claimed it was related to executions.

The police also found a 20-liter tanks of kerosene in the auto, which Kusakabe said he planned to use to burn the vehicle, according to the police. In early July 2018, Japan executed 13 members of the Aum Shinrikyo sect that was responsible for the sarin gas attack in a Tokyo subway in 1995.

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