Three people were stabbed outside Tokyo University during the first day of the entrance examinations across Japan on Saturday.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested a 17-year-old from Nagoya at the scene and allegedly recovered a blood-stained kitchen knife from him.
Some 530,000 students are due to take the nationwide tests over two days at venues across the country.
Police said the attacks began at around 8.30am local time. A 72–year-old man from Tokyo and two 18-year-olds from nearby Chiba prefecture, who were on their way to the examination hall, were injured. None of them knew the suspect, police said.
The Asahi newspaper quoted an unidentified source as claiming that the teenager spoke of his anxiety regarding his poor grades during an alleged confession to police.
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All three victims of the knife attack were taken to hospital. Reports said that while the two teenage victims sustained minor injuries, the senior citizen had to undergo urgent surgery.
The National Centre for University Entrance Examinations said that the two teenagers will be allowed to sit a make-up exam scheduled for the last weekend of this month.
It also said it was considering other measures if they were not able to recover on time for their new exam date.