Three people, including two students on their way to take entrance exams to the university, were stabbed on Saturday just outside a test site, 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 taken to a hospital for treatment, police said. But the elderly victim was later in serious condition, local media reported.
Police said the attacker, identified only as a high school student from the central Japanese city of Nagoya because he was a minor, stabbed the three people in the back on a street just outside Tokyo University’s main campus, one of the sites of Japan’s two -day nationwide entrance exams this weekend.
Police said they are investigating the perpetrator’s motives. He did not graduate. Police are also investigating a small fire at a nearby subway station that occurred just before the attack. The suspect claimed to be responsible for the subway station fire, according to local media.
The teenage attacker told police he was struggling with his academic performance and that he wanted to kill himself after committing the crimes, NHK reported publicly on television.
About 3,700 students took part in Saturday’s exams at the University of Tokyo, and they started as planned despite the attack.
Violent crimes are rare in Japan, but there have been a number of random knife and arson attacks in recent months.
In December, 25 people were killed in a fire attack at a psychiatric clinic in Osaka, where a suspect was also 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 carriage in Tokyo, injuring more than a dozen people. In August, a 36-year-old man injured about 10 people in a knife attack on another Tokyo commuter train.
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