A suspect has been arrested in relation to the incident, which occurred in Kawasaki city, on the southern edges of Tokyo, public broadcaster NHK reports. Police identified two of the dead as 11-year-old Hanako Kuribayashi and Satoshi Oyama, a 39-year-old government employee who was taking his child to the bus stop.
A witness told NHK he saw people lying on the ground covered in blood and one police officer was hosing down the sidewalk. City officials, quoting police, said that the suspect was captured but died from a self-inflicted cut to the neck. He started attacking the children and ran away after the driver yelled at him.
The victims are a primary school-aged girl and man in his 30s, while police said the attacker, a middle-aged man, also died.
Caritas Chairman Tetsuro Saito said at a news conference that he was "struggling to fight back my anger".
No motive for the attack has yet been established. Neither newspaper mentioned the Catholic identity of the school as potential fodder to make it a target. But the country has seen some high-profile killings, including the stabbing of 19 at a disabled home in 2016.
The type of knives used in Tuesday's attack are not yet known.
Murder sprees are not unprecedented, however.
An official at the Kawasaki city office said 16 people, a lot of them schoolgirls, were wounded and three others, including the attacker, were believed to have died.
Several residents in the area said they were shocked that such an attack could take place in what is usually a quiet town.
In 2010 there was another attack in a Tokyo suburb.
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Ayumi Kuboki told police she was engaging in the non-consensual euthanasia of terminally ill people by putting poison into their medicine.
Mr Trump's host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, voiced "strong anger" over the incident, describing it as a "harrowing" attack. "We must keep our children safe at all costs". The victims have been taken to nearby hospitals.
"All Americans stand with the people of Japan and grieve the victims and for their families", he said.
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