A group of schoolchildren waiting for a bus have been attacked today morning by a knife-wielding man in Kawasaki city. An elementary school girl died and 18 people injured. The suspected attacker, believed to be the 50s, was also dead after turning his knife on himself.
Footage broadcast on local TV stations showed multiple police cars, ambulances, and fire engines at the scene but the motive of the attack till not clear.
The bus driver who witnessed the stabbing said: “A man holds a knife in both hands and walks in the direction of the bus and stabs primary school children one after another.”
“A man stabbed them,” fire department spokesman Dai Nagase told. “We received an emergency call at 7.44am, which said four elementary schoolchildren were stabbed.”
One eyewitness told, “I saw many elementary school children lying on the ground near a school bus stop. School rucksacks were scattered all over the place”. Witnesses also report that the suspect screamed: “I will kill you!”
An official at a local hospital said it had received five people wounded in the attack and that four of them had suffered serious injuries. Among them were a woman, a man and “three girls who are all six years old”.
Japan has one of the lowest rates of violent crime in the developed world and mass attacks are extremely rare. But in 2016, a man who claimed he wanted to kill people with disabilities killed 19 people and injured 26 others in a knife attack at a care facility near Tokyo.
The horrific tragedy comes as US President Donald Trump wrapped up his four-day state visit to Japan. Trump offered his “prayers and sympathy” to the victims as he met troops outside Tokyo.
Standing aboard a Japanese military ship, he said that “all Americans stand with the people of Japan and grieve for the victims and for their families”.
The US President and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tried mightily to minimize their differences during Trump’s visit to Tokyo while playing up their close personal friendship and their countries’ long-held ties, but tension abounded.