An early morning knife attack outside a train station northeast of Tokyo left more than a dozen people injured, and a 27-year-old man behind bars, authorities said.
Police say the suspect, Yuta Saito, boarded a crowded school bus parked outside Toride station in the Ibaraki Prefecture, stabbed students on board before proceeding to attack passengers on another city bus at 7:40 a.m. Japan standard time.
At least 11 students were injured, many of them sustaining minor cuts to their wrists and face, according to police.
"The man came in from the back of the bus," said the bus driver who declined to give his name, in an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK. "I first thought students were fighting. But when I started to hear them screaming, I knew something wasn't right."
The attack occurred during peak rush hour, just as 50 students from a nearby middle and high school were getting ready to head to class.
Witnesses outside the train station bus terminal reported seeing some students bleeding from their faces, covering their wounds.
Police spokesman Mitsuyuki Ooura said two passengers on board the second bus caught up with Saito.
Saito was arrested on charges of attempted murder.
Ooura said he admitted to the stabbing and told detectives "he wanted to end his life."
According to the Associated Press, Saito was unemployed.
For many Japanese, today's incident brought back unwelcome memories of a similar stabbing spree in the heart of Tokyo, a few years ago.
In 2008, 7 people were killed and 10 others injured when a man drove his truck into a busy street and began stabbing those nearby.