Memorial Held for Fatal Osaka School Attack 23 Years Ago

Society

Ikeda, Osaka Pref., June 8 (Jiji Press)--A memorial ceremony was held Saturday to mark the 23 years since a knife attack at an elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, that killed eight children.

About 770 people including bereaved relatives, pupils and school staff attended the ceremony at Ikeda Elementary School attached to Osaka Kyoiku University.

They offered a moment of silence at 10:12 a.m., when the incident occurred, and rang bells in the school's "tower of pray and pledge" monument engraved with the names of victims.

Representing all pupils, three sixth graders said that then six graders took first-grade kids by the hand to evacuate, expressing a wish to become someone who can protect other people. They also pledged to realize a safe society without forgetting the incident.

In the attack June 8, 2001, the assailant, Mamoru Takuma, then 37, entered the school with a knife and killed a first-grade boy and seven second-grade girls. Fifteen pupils and teachers were wounded.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press