22 years since deadly stabbing rampage at Osaka elementary school

People have held a memorial service at an elementary school in Osaka Prefecture for the victims of a deadly stabbing rampage 22 years ago.

A man broke into Ikeda Elementary School and stabbed eight children to death on June 8, 2001. 13 other children and two teachers were injured in the attack.

About 760 people, including relatives of the victims, other students and teachers, took part in the ceremony on Thursday.

The participants observed a moment of silence after a bell was rung on a monument bearing the names of the eight slain children.

Principal Sanada Takumi, who was in charge of a sixth-grade class at the time, addressed the participants.

Sanada said there seems to be no end to attacks on children and schools. He stressed the importance of precautionary measures and improving them if incidents take place.

The principal said he and other teachers will keep working to provide a safe environment for students.

A sixth-grade student representative said she will keep in mind that the victims must have wanted to live longer and hand down their memories to the next generation.

She said respecting others' lives is the first step toward preventing the incident from being forgotten.

The school conducts safety drills on responding to incursions by suspicious people and teaches its students how to protect themselves.

Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20230608_26/