Two members of Japanese girl group Akb48 were hospitalised on Sunday (25May14) after they were viciously attacked by a saw-wielding thug.

Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18, both suffered broken bones in their right hand as well as cuts to the arms and head during the horror in Iwate, northern Japan.

The incident occurred during a meet-and-greet with fans following a mini concert, when a man approached the booth in which Kawaei and Iriyama was sitting and began slashing them with a 50-centimetre long saw.

The suspect was pinned to the ground by staff and security at the event and was restrained until police arrived.

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and an Iwate police spokesperson tells Afp in Tokyo, "We have started questioning the suspect this morning to know details, including his motive."

According to the group's manager, the girls underwent successful surgery and will be released from hospital on Monday (26May14).

Members of Akb48 are chosen from an ongoing talent competition, with a pool of more than 100 girls performing in a rotating line-up.