Eight people were injured in the incident.
Unlike in other major cities, New Year in Tokyo is a relatively muted affair.
At least eight people were injured when a man deliberately drove his vehicle into a crowded Tokyo street filled with people who had gathered for the city's New Year's festivities.
The auto barreled down the narrow street, which was packed with pedestrians, slamming into a number of them, police said.
Police said a large tank filled with kerosene was found in the auto. It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to a specific execution or the country's system of capital punishment. "If the incident had happened five minutes later, I would've been involved", a woman who walked past the scene shortly after the incident told NHK.More news: New Horizons launches on NYE to explore Ultima Thule
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He has reportedly been arrested for "suspicion of attempted murder", and told officers after the attack that he was intentionally committing a terrorist attack.
There is no information so far to suggest foreign tourists were among the injured, the police spokesman said.
But police said they were still investigating whether the man was actually connected to the doomsday cult.
The street was closed to vehicles at the time of the incident to accommodate the large number of pedestrians making their way to the shrine for New Year's prayers.
Some media reports said the man had linked the attack to the executions in July of 13 members of the Aum Shinrikyo or Aum Supreme Truth cult, who were responsible for a 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. "It was very very scary", Clack said. Seven people were killed.