Nineteen people were feared dead and as many as 24 others wounded after an attack by a knife-wielding man at a facility for the disabled in Japan early on Tuesday, Japanese media reported.

Police in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, about 40 km southwest of Tokyo have arrested a man in his 20s, Japanese media reported.

They said staff called police at 2.30 a.m. local time with reports of a man armed with a knife on the grounds of the Tsukui Yamayuri Garden facility. The man had turned himself into a police station.

Asahi Shimbun reported that the suspect was quoted by police as saying "I want to get rid of the disabled from this world."

Fifteen people were confirmed dead while four were in a state of cardiac arrest, the reports said.