Bus stop stabbing shocks Japan
An 11-year-old girl and a 39-year-old man are
dead after a man wielding a knife in each hand
stabbed 19 people around a bus stop in Kawasaki city
near Tokyo on Tuesday.
The attack was carried out in less than 20 seconds.
The killer then stabbed himself and died soon after.
It was early in the morning, about 7:45 a.m.,
and children were lined up for their bus to Caritas Elementary,
a privately-run Christian school.
Police said the man attacked first in the vicinity of
a nearby convenience store, killing Satoshi Oyama,
the father of one of the children.
He then headed toward the bus stop,
attacking a woman on the way and then school girls in the line,
one after the other. Eleven-year-old Hanako Kuribayashi died
from her wounds.
Police found the attacker lying on the ground near the bus stop,
unresponsive and with stab wounds to the neck.
He lived four kilometers from the site.
Vice Principal of Caritas Elementary School,
Satoru Shitori, said at a news conference that
he was helping children board their buses when he
heard screams coming from the end of the line.
He said he saw a man holding what appeared to be
kitchen knives, one in each hand, attacking the children
without speaking and then running toward the bus stop.
He said he examined the children's wounds while
calling police and advised about 20 children with no injuries to board their buses.
Shitori said he then checked on the children lying on the ground.
He said he saw about five of the wounded and then about
15 other children taking shelter in a nearby convenience store.
Hanako Kuribayashi lived in the Tokyo suburb of Tama City.
A neighbor described her as a charming girl who always
stopped for a chat when they met.
She said she was shocked by the news of her death.
She said she exchanged greetings with the girl's parents
almost daily and could not imagine how they must feel.
The 39-year-old male victim, Satoshi Oyama,was an official with the Japanese Foreign Ministry and a Burmese language specialist.
He joined the ministry in 2004 and worked for a time at the Japanese Embassy in Myanmar. When Aung San Suu Kyi visited Japan in 2013, Oyama accompanied her to Kyoto.
That same year, he acted as interpreter for then foreign minister Fumio Kishida in a meeting with the foreign minister of Myanmar on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Oyama's wife issued a statement through her lawyer saying she was deeply saddened by the sudden death of her husband. She asked news media to respect her privacy and refrain from contacting her.