Three people, including two students on their way to take college entrance exams, were stabbed just outside a testing location on Saturday, and authorities arrested a 17-year-old student at the scene, suspected of attempted murder, Tokyo police said.
The victims – two 18-year-old high school students and a 72-year-old man – were all conscious and their injuries were not life-threatening when they were rushed to hospital for treatment, police said . But the elderly victim was later in serious condition, local media reported.
Police said the attacker, who was only identified as a high school student from the central Japanese city of Nagoya because he is underage, slashed the three people in the back on a street just outside the main campus of the University of Tokyo, one of the sites for Japan’s two-day national entrance exams this weekend.
Police said they were investigating the attacker’s motives. He didn’t pass the exam. Police are also investigating a small fire at a nearby metro station that occurred just before the attack. The suspect claimed to be responsible for the fire at the metro station, according to local media.
The teenage assailant told police he was struggling with his grades in school and wanted to kill himself after committing the crimes, state broadcaster NHK reported.
About 3,700 students attended Saturday’s exams at the University of Tokyo and they started as scheduled despite the attack.
Violent crime is rare in Japan, but there have been a series of random stabbings and arson attacks in recent months.
In December, 25 people were killed in an arson attack at a mental health clinic in Osaka, in which a suspect was also seriously injured and later died. In October, a 24-year-old man dressed in a Joker costume from the Batman films stabbed an elderly man and started a fire in a crowded train carriage in Tokyo, injuring more than a dozen people. In August, a 36-year-old man injured around 10 people in a stabbing attack on another Tokyo commuter train.
New York Post