Three people, including two students on their way to take university entrance exams, were yesterday stabbed near the entrance of a test venue in Tokyo, police said, adding that authorities had arrested a 17-year-old student at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder.
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 a hospital for treatment, police said.
However, the elderly victim was later in serious condition, local media reported.
Police said the alleged attacker, who was identified only as a high school student from the central Japanese city of Nagoya because he is a minor, slashed the three people in their back on a street just outside of the University of Tokyo’s main campus, one of the venues for Japan’s two-day nationwide entrance exams this weekend.
Police said they are investigating the alleged attacker’s motives, adding that he was not taking the exam.
Police are also looking into a small fire at a nearby subway station that occurred just before the attack.
The suspect also claimed to be responsible for the subway station fire, local media reported.
The alleged attacker told police that he was struggling with his academic performance and that he wanted to kill himself after committing the crimes, NHK public television reported.
About 3,700 students attended yesterday’s exams at the University of Tokyo, which began as scheduled, despite the attack.
Violent crimes are rare in Japan, but there have been a series of random knifing and arson attacks in the past few months.
Last month, 25 people were killed in an arson attack at a mental health clinic in Osaka, in which a suspect was badly injured and later died.
In October, a 24-year-old man dressed in a Joker costume from the Batman movies stabbed an elderly man and started a fire on a crowded train car in Tokyo, injuring more than a dozen passengers.
In August, a 36-year-old man wounded about 10 people in a knife attack on another Tokyo commuter train.
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