TOKYO: Three people were stabbed outside the prestigious University of Tokyo ahead of nationwide college entrance exams Saturday, with police saying they had arrested a high-schooler for allegedly carrying out the attack.
The victims included an 18-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and a 72-year-old man, police said.
"We arrested a 17-year-old male student for allegedly slashing in the back (of the three) with the intent to kill," a Tokyo police spokesman told AFP.
The student was seized by police at the gate of the University of Tokyo after the early morning attack, they added.
He was not taking the exams and was not acquainted with the three victims, but told police he "wanted to die after causing an incident as I didn't do well in my studies", public broadcaster NHK reported.
The two teenagers did not sustain life-threatening injuries but the 72-year-old is severely wounded, according to local media.
NHK said the university, where 3,700 students were scheduled to take the tests, went ahead with the exams as planned.
Half a million high school students across Japan are taking the annual university entrance exams this weekend in hundreds of venues across the country.
Violent crimes are exceedingly rare in Japan, but there have been a spate of knife attacks by assailants unknown to the victims.
In October, a man dressed in Batman's Joker costume stabbed more than a dozen people on a train carriage in Tokyo, sending passengers screaming down the aisles of train carriages and scrambling out of windows to escape.
A few months earlier, a man wounded several people in a knife attack on a Tokyo commuter train.