A man prays for victims at the site where a knife attack took place in Kawasaki near Tokyo, Japan, May 29, 2019.
A man prays for victims at the site where a knife attack took place in Kawasaki near Tokyo, Japan, May 29, 2019.

Japanese police on Wednesday searched the home of the suspected perpetrator behind a series of stabbing attacks in Kawasaki the day prior that left two people dead and 17 others injured.

Sixteen of the injured were children, and an 11-year-old school girl was among the dead, raising safety concerns for Japanese school children.

The attacker approached a bus stop, wielding two knives and slashing at the children, yelling "I will kill you," before fatally stabbing himself.

Japanese police have identified the alleged attacker as Ryuichi Iwasaki, a 51-year-old man who lived with his aunt and uncle in Kawasaki.

Fatal violence is uncommon in Japan, with a homicide rate of .28 victims per 100,000 people in 2016, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The motive behind the attacks is still unknown and police declined to provide more details about Iwasaki.

Japan Stabbing Attack
Police officers work at the scene where a man wielding a knife attacked a group of schoolchildren in Kawasaki, near TokyoMay 28, 2019.

Relatives of the suspect had contacted local officials 14 times between November 2017 and January 2019, citing his inconsistent employment history and isolation. Relatives proceeded to tell officials to refrain from reaching out to Iwasaki.

Neighbors of the man reported they had little contact with him.

In the aftermath of the attack, Japanese officials are taking steps to ensure safety for children who commute to their schools. At a meeting on children's safety, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "The incident in Kawasaki was very grievous and I feel strong anger that young children were victimized."

After the meeting, government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga told reporters the Japanese government would "work in unison to ensure the children's safety,"

Abe has called for an examination of current school routes following the attack.

The school the victims attended is closed for the rest of the week and will offer counseling and support for students it reopens.

Child Marriage