Three people are confirmed dead, including an 11-year-old girl, from a mass stabbing that left 17 schoolchildren injured Tuesday in Kawasaki, Japan, a suburb southwest of Tokyo.
Ryuichi Iwasaki, 51, allegedly attacked the children with two knives as they waited to board a school bus to Caritas, a Catholic school, at around 7:45 a.m., The New York Times reported.
Witnesses said the attacker yelled “I’m going to kill you!” before he began to stab the children.
Three injuries were reported as serious, according to The Associated Press. Other medical details have not yet been made public.
Among the dead are a sixth-grader named Hanako Kuribayashi, 11, and Satoshi Oyama, 39, the parent of another student.
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After the attack, the suspect reportedly stabbed himself in the neck, dying from his injuries shortly afterward.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed outrage.
“It was an extremely harrowing incident in which many small children were victimized, and I feel strong resentment,” he said.
“I will take all possible measures to protect the safety of children.”
President Donald Trump was with Abe on the last day of his visit to Japan when news about the attack emerged.
“On behalf of the first lady and myself, I want to take a moment to send our prayers and sympathies to the victims of the stabbing attack this morning in Tokyo,” Trump said.
Japan’s crime rate is much lower than that of the United States.
The country averages only three robberies per 100,000 people, according to the U.S. State Department.
The last major knife attack in Japan was July 2016, when 19 handicapped people were killed outside of Tokyo by Satoshi Uematsu, 26, who had previously threatened to kill disabled people “for the sake of Japan,” The Times reported.
Both firearms and knives are strictly regulated in Japan under the country’s Firearm and Sword Possession Control Law.
Only certain guns are permitted to be owned, and obtaining one requires training and thorough background and mental-health checks before permits can be issued.
Knife laws were updated in 2018 after a deadly bullet-train attack.
Fixed blades longer than 15 centimeters require permission for home ownership. Pocket knives with blades longer than 6 cm cannot be carried in public, and blades longer than 8 cm are banned outright, according to Tokyo Weekender.
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