World News

Stabbing spree on Japanese buses leave 13 injured

TOKYO (Reuters) - A stabbing spree on a school bus and a commuter bus in a Tokyo suburb Friday left 13 people injured, police and media said.

Police officers investigate near Toride station in Toride, north of Tokyo December 17, 2010. A man stabbed four people Friday morning near JR Toride station in the city of Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, seriously injuring one, police said, Kyodo news reported. REUTERS/Kyodo

A 27-year-old unemployed man arrested for the attacks told police: “I wanted to end my life,” Kyodo news agency reported.

Media said the man boarded a packed school bus near Toride, a suburban town northeast of Tokyo, stabbing students before moving on to a second commuter bus.

Four people were stabbed and the rest injured as they scrambled to escape, the reports said.

A police official, who declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to media, said none of the injuries were life-threatening.

The injured included seven high school students and four junior high school students, Kyodo said.

The suspect was held by several passengers on the second bus and police later arrested him, an official at the Toride police station in Ibaraki, near Tokyo, told Reuters.

“I saw (students) come off from the bus in front of us in a way that was not normal ... Then the suspect came toward me with a knife,” a driver of one of the buses told NHK public TV.

Japan has a low crime rate compared with many advanced countries but high-profile violent crimes periodically spark a bout of soul-searching about the fraying of social bonds.

Two years ago, the public was stunned when a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of killing three people by slamming into a pedestrian crossing with a truck and then fatally stabbing four more in Tokyo’s popular Akihabara electronics shopping area.

Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Michael Watson