Attacker identified as Japan mourns mass stabbing victims

Japanese authorities have named 51-year-old Ryuichi Iwasaki as the attacker who stabbed two people to death in a rare act of public violence in Japan on Tuesday.

Iwasaki held a knife in each hand as he slashed children waiting for the school bus in the city of Kawasaki, about 13 miles (21 kilometers) from Tokyo, police said.

An 11-year-old girl and 39-year-old father were killed, while 17 others were injured. Sixteen of the wounded were children, authorities said.

The attack took less than a minute. Iwasaki died of a self-inflicted wound shortly after, according to police.

Police raided Iwasaki’s home in Kawasaki early Wednesday and are investigating what motivated him to attack children.

The attack left many Kawasaki residents shocked and traumatized. Japan is considered one of the safest countries in the world, and children there often walk to school alone. Japan strictly regulates most weapons.

On Wednesday, at a ministerial meeting on child safety, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “The incident in Kawasaki was very grievous and I feel strong anger that young children were victimized.”

Abe has vowed that his cabinet would “keep children safe at all costs.”

Abe also called for a review into school routes, recommending that police and communities remain vigilant and mindful of the possibility of similar attacks.

Caritas Elementary School, which the victims attended, will boost security and bring in counselors to provide students and parents with psychological support, school director Tetsuro Saito said at a Tuesday news conference.

“Innocent students who are raised with love by their parents (have fallen) victim to the pathetic incident. I’m suffering from an unfocused anger and from (the) deepest regret,” Saito said.