• Kyodo


A 37-year-old computer programmer was arrested Thursday for allegedly pushing a 74-year-old man off the platform of an Osaka subway station onto the tracks and seriously injuring him earlier in the week.

Atsuya Shimizu, a resident of Nishi Ward, surrendered to police late Wednesday evening after he saw TV news footage that featured an image of him captured in a safety video monitor at the subway station, according to police.

Shimizu was quoted as telling investigators that he became angry with the man because the victim ignored his warnings about placing his bag on the bumpy yellow warning line for the visually impaired near the edge of the platform.

Shimizu pushed Hiromi Takamoto, chief priest of a Buddhist temple in Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, off the platform at Nipponbashi Station on the Sennichimae Line of the Osaka city-run subway around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Takamoto suffered a fractured skull when he fell onto the tracks.

An approaching train was halted just 200 meters short of the station after a passenger who witnessed Takamoto’s fall pushed an emergency button, and Takamoto was carried to the platform by other people at the scene.

According to police, Shimizu quarreled with Takamoto, who was waiting for a train, after the victim placed his bag on the yellow line.

Shimizu once walked away, but returned and pushed Takamoto from behind onto the tracks, police said.

“I pushed him because I warned him not to place the bag on the (yellow line), but he ignored me,” Shimizu was quoted as saying to police.

After Shimizu told investigators that he thought Takamoto might be killed by a train, police served him with a warrant for attempted murder, police officials said.

Police publicized images from the platform video monitor at the time of the incident.

Shimizu said he talked to his father after watching TV news featuring the images, and surrendered to the Osaka Prefectural Police force’s Nishi Station late Wednesday evening, accompanied by his father.

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