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Sunday, 17 December, 2000, 03:44 GMT
Teen bat rampage shocks Tokyo
Tokyo at night
The attacker hit eight total strangers before his arrest
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 17-year-old boy for attacking passers-by with a baseball bat - the latest in a series of frightening youth crimes.

The high-school student, whose name was withheld, was seized on Saturday night after injuring eight people in Tokyo's Shibuya entertainment district.

Japan teen attacks
May 2000
One dead after bus hijack
Schoolboy kills housewife
June 2000
Baseball bat matricide
August 2000
Schoolboy stabs three
December 2000
Teen bomb attack
The first attack was launched against a 32-year-old man in a public toilet at the Shibuya railway station. Then the boy took the baseball bat onto the streets and assailed seven others.

One woman, a 68-year-old housewife, was severely wounded in the head, while other victims suffered minior injuries, a police official said.

The Jiji Press news agency quoted the boy as telling the police: "As I had a quarrel with my father, I wanted to put him to shame. Anyone would have been fine" as a victim.

Crime wave fears

Correspondents say Japanese have been shocked by a series of horrific crimes committed by teenagers.

Earlier in December police said 17-year-old boy detonated a home-made bomb in a Tokyo video rental shop hoping to "destroy a man."

Other crimes include the stabbing to death of three members of a family by a 15-year-old schoolboy in August, and two other apparently random murders by teenagers in May.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested in June for beating his mother to death with a baseball bat shortly after attacking four classmates in an argument reportedly over the length of his hair.

Saturday's attacks came as young movie fans flocked to see a controversial and violent new release about juvenile crime, Battle Royale.

Japan remains haunted by the 1997 incident in Kobe when a 14-year-old schoolboy decapitated a fellow pupil and stuck the head on the school gates.

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