Teenager arrested for stabbing near Japan entrance exam venue

Three people, including two students taking university entrance exams, were stabbed near the exam venue, Tokyo police said, and authorities arrested a 17-year-old student at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder

TOKYO — Authorities arrested a 17-year-old student at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder Saturday after three people, including two students taking university entrance exams, were stabbed outside the exam room, Tokyo police said.

Police said the victims — two 18-year-old high school students and a 72-year-old man — were conscious and were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. But the elderly victim was later in serious condition, local media reported.

Police said the attacker, a high school student in the central Japanese city of Nagoya, slashed the back of three people in a street outside the main campus of the University of Tokyo because he was a minor. The venue for Japan’s two-day national entrance exam this weekend.

Police said they were investigating the attacker’s motive. He didn’t take the test. Police are also investigating a small fire at a nearby subway station before the attack. The suspect claimed responsibility for the subway station fire, local media reported.

The teenage attacker told police he was struggling with his academic performance and that he wanted to kill himself after committing the crime, NHK public television reported.

About 3,700 students took exams at the University of Tokyo on Saturday, and they started as planned despite the attack.

Violent crime is rare in Japan, but there has been a spate of random knife and arson attacks in recent months.

In December, 25 people were killed in an arson attack at a mental health clinic in Osaka, including a suspect who was seriously injured and later died. In October, a 24-year-old man dressed in a Joker costume from the Batman movie stabbed an elderly man in Tokyo and set fire to a crowded train carriage, injuring more than a dozen people. In August, a 36-year-old man attacked with a knife on another Tokyo commuter train, injuring about 10 people.

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