crime

17-year-old boy will not be prosecuted over 6-year-old sister’s death

47 Comments

A family court in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, has ruled that a 17-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of inflicting bodily injuries resulting in the death of his six-year-old sister, will not be prosecuted.

The court ruled that due to extenuating circumstances, such as parental neglect on the part of the siblings’ mother – who was absent from home for seven days prior to the girl’s death – the boy was placed under enormous strain in looking after his sister, Sankei Shimbun reported. Instead, the court said the boy will be sent to a juvenile rehabilitation center.

The teenager was accused of kicking his sister several times in the stomach and back at their home between late July and Aug 1. The boy asked a neighbor to contact the police at around 9:40 a.m. on Aug 1. He claimed that his sister had fallen from a jungle gym at the park. The girl was found collapsed there and died in hospital due to traumatic shock later that day. Police launched an investigation into the girl’s death after being contacted by the hospital.

The boy and his sister lived with their single mother. Police said the mother was frequently absent from home and she has been questioned on suspicion of parental neglect.

The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.

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The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.

Why are our taxes going to fund this worthless department?

31 ( +35 / -4 )

What a mess! The poor girl, may she rest in peace now.

As for the boy, I'm pretty sure when I was 17 I knew not to kick a 6 year old in the stomach. Jeez, everyone failed in this situation! The Japanese welfare department had no business deciding a 17 year old could take care of a kid, the divorce system that doesn't require fathers to pay child support, the mom for being absent-not said here in the article but probably she was working and trying to get money to take care of everyone,---everyone here should be held accountable! This country does so much hand-wringing about their declining birth rate, then does very little to actually support anyone- especially those outside of the traditional 2-parent family household. Despicable.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

The boy and his sister lived with their single mother. Police said the mother was frequently absent from home and she has been questioned on suspicion of parental neglect.

The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps.

Why not prosecute the habitually absent mother? Why not hold these incompetent child welfare authorities accountable? And how responsible is Japan’s single-parent custody system in facilitating neglect like this?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

A 6 year old has had her whole future cruelly snatched away from her, and there won't be any justice for her soul?!

The Japanese 'justice system' once again failing children!!

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Lock up the mother?

Is this teenager safe to be released back into society? What if he flips out again?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Agreeing with Nam. I, too, knew not to kick a child when I was 17. Also, if I didn't know how to deal with a six-year-old, I'd ask one of the neighbor mothers for help.

On the other hand, parents have been known in this country (and others) to deliberately kill their offspring (because of crying, bed wetting, not obeying, not eating their veggies etc) and get little or no time in jail.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

17 and not prosecuted. The Babying State. Are you kidding me? I think everyone of us on this site has had sense enough not to kick anyone to death by the time we were 5. This ruling is nauseating.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

In most countries, a case like this would be moved to adult court. He should be prosecuted and so should his mother.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

In 20 years we may see this headline, Unemployed 37 year old man kills mother.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Japan in a nutshell.... You can guarantee that all the neighbors knew what was going on. All the relatives, Both children's schools knew... Yet NOBODY did anything.

"Don't get involved, nothing to do with me, look away....."

6 ( +14 / -8 )

So, will the mother be charged? Will family services be charged? Somebody should be held accountable for this little girl’s death.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This mother, she has 5 children (17 year old boy and the sister, who by the

way, never had lived together until recently, and they have different

fathers).

Other 3 children are still in different facilities, and by the way, they

have different fathers, too.

Not sure why this mother only took the 2 kids but she wasn't fit enough to

take care of her children ~ and she actually wasn't working all these times

trying to put food on the table, she was with the most recent ex-husband who

she lived with until recently.

She also had another apartment (that's where she was at while leaving the

kids) and said because of work she was unable to return home to children

very often.

But then, why did she bring the children out of the facilities?

One Japanese newspaper article said the boy spoke that his little

half-sister often cried and said she wanted to go back to the facilities and

she was being difficult to handle.

This boy even gave most of his income (he wasn't going to high school) to

his mother.. The mother called him a sweet boy.

While he should never has kicked and harmed the little sister, the biggest

problem was the mother - just my opinion.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

17 is basically an adult. At this age one should know not to kick a human being repeatedly until they pass out or die from the trauma. He should have been thrown in jail. He killed someone.

Failure in all parts here - the welfare authorities for their p**s poor decision making; the absent mother - why is she not brought before the judge? - ; and the "justice" system which seemingly keeps letting criminals off the hook for the most asinine reasons.

Japan also really needs to start allocating more support for single parent households. Honestly, in what world would someone deem it ok for a 17 year old to look after their 6 year old sibling alone? Oh right...Japan.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Japan in a nutshell.... You can guarantee that all the neighbors knew what was going on. All the relatives, Both children's schools knew... Yet NOBODY did anything.

> "Don't get involved, nothing to do with me, look away....."

Yup. They're very good at imitating an ostrich with their head in the sand pretending that the world around them isn't going up in flames. I get not wanting to stick your nose in other people's business but this is just negligent all around.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

“The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.”

social welfare services once again simply more content with getting paid to do nothing than do their jobs, and zero punishment across the board…. Well, except the little girl who was murdered, essentially by all of them.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Well, then: Mum’s accountable, as well as the welfare worker’s who failed to assess the severity of the perpetrator’s “stress”. By the way, where’s “DAD”, or both “DADs” in all this?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

By the way, where’s “DAD”, or both “DADs” in all this?

Honest question, since posters always ask this on these threads, what relevance would the answer to the above question have?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Reminds me kind of of that old Kore-Eda film, Nobody Knows. Sad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sounds like he was under a lot of stress. No dad, mom hardly around, has to work, has to give his money to mom, basically supporting his sister, perhaps resented her for it.

It's no excuse to kick a 6 year old, but I can understand that he was under a lot of stress.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.

Why are these people allowed to hide, why are they not named and made to account publicly for their actions?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A story with no winners here.

Dead little girl.

A psychotic brother who will develop into a killer.

A negligent mother who should be fixed to never have kids again.

A deadbeat (ex-husband but still the) father who has no interest in being there.

Crooked courts and authorities that don’t punish and demand child support payments.

Authorities who deemed a 17 year old boy, mature enough to take care and be the primary watcher of his 6 year old sister.

The courts that won’t arrest this 17 year old and put him away. Same goes for the mother. She also needs to be locked up.

And a Nation, Japan that clearly looks away on these types of situations and love to pass the blame on to others as quickly as possible.

Yes, Japan. Good job, as usual……

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

In the USA he would be trialed as an adult and got life in prison but I seen enough those cases and glad they decided to put the blame on parents. Still the soon to be adult 17 years old adult need some rehabilitation. It could be also blamed on violent videos games that were they learn to hurt on there. Rip little one

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

the authorities states that the 17 old was JUDGED by the FAMILY LAW COURT capable of Parenting of the 6 years old girl. Will these educated idiots/ fool who made this judgement stand down or show any form of to redeem their incompetence.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Some of the postings above say that dads do not pay. Let it be known that the courts do follow up on child support now unless the dad flies in the wind.

I diligently paid my ¥250,000 a month and saw my kids all the time.

The mistakes here are many. First and most horrible is that a 17 year old is a kid! He and his sister should have been removed from the home. The mother would probably not have noticed!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Some of the postings above say that dads do not pay. Let it be known that the courts do follow up on child support now unless the dad flies in the wind.

I diligently paid my ¥250,000 a month and saw my kids all the time.

lucky you. My ex demanded half of my then Eikaiwa teacher salary even tho her income was essentially four to six times higher than mine. I paid. Until I got smart and just stopped working. No income, no means to pay. Court ruled to reduce payments to virtually nothing. My kids will be fine financially. Emotionally? If they can avoid becoming like their mother, they’ll be fine.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Its all well and good saying "I knew not to kick a six year old when I was 16." I'm sure its true, so did I. But I didn't have this kids life. I had parents and a stable family life. This kid was essentially living in a circus. A mental, dysfunctional mother, no father and a society that turns a blind eye. I wasn't dumped alone with a little kid I hardly knew and expected to cope. There's a lot of blame to go around in this case and not all of it is on this kid.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Some boys will grow up to be men who can not control their temper or always give in to the urge to do violence to others who are weaker than themselves. I've read quite a few articles here where the men, whether they be the father or latest boyfriend, beat up their child or the wife/girlfriend's child. I wonder whether those men came from single parent households. I wonder whether those men were neglected children.

In spite of my wondering, I hold those men accountable for their actions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I understand it is dangerous to set a precedent for the future, but if the case is so clear as this one there is nothing to gain with letting go a criminal because of technicalities, exceptions should be done to punish someone so clearly guilty.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

While it does seem wrong not to charge the boy I can understand the poor kid feeling frustrated and abandoned by his parents and overwhelmed with being left with the care of his young sister. Mom was gone and where was thier father? Sad.

Much of society's ills can be traced to the breakdown of the family unit.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.

Clearly not, someone needs to reevulate their job

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The court said child welfare authorities were also made aware of the mother’s absence from the home but took no steps as they judged that the boy was able to look after his sister.

The judge needs a boot in the ass.

It's not the job of a 17 year old boy, to be a guardian to his sister.

It might be different if the mother were out working to support

them, then maybe the boy would feel like he was doing his bit,

but she was just out, leaving all responsibility on him.

Not saying his behavior was justified, or right, but he should've had some support,

from a male relative or friend, and the idiot judge bailed on him.

The mother is disgusting, lacking in anything resembling maternal love, as well as the govt agencies, whose laziness enabled her neglectful behavior.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The court ruled that due to extenuating circumstances, such as parental neglect on the part of the siblings’ mother – who was absent from home for seven days prior to the girl’s death – the boy was placed under enormous strain in looking after his sister, Sankei Shimbun reported. Instead, the court said the boy will be sent to a juvenile rehabilitation center.

So, in other words, by being under a lot of pressure and stress (due to the mother being away for a long time) does that justify battery? Except that at his age, unless he was mentally handicapped, I would expect him to realise the consequence of the act - which is then murder.

The court's decision is outrageous. On the one hand we have Ghosn-type cases and on the other hand we have cases like this. From extreme to extreme.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This is such a sad sad story. That poor little girl. Rest in peace, little one.

That older brother...words fail me

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Prosecute the useless mother!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Pacific: unfair judges and situations. Hopefully you can see the kids.

My ¥250,000 a month never hurt me but the ex never used the money for my kids and even made them take out loans for Sennin Gaku and university degree programs.

There needs to be a follow up or how payments are used.

My heart is with you

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@purple_depressed_baconToday 08:39 am JST

17 is basically an adult. At this age one should know not to kick a human being repeatedly until they pass out or die from the trauma. He should have been thrown in jail. He killed someone.

Biologically, that's not true, with the latest research suggesting that maturity is really about 25 - before that, you are not only immature solely because of a lack of life experience, but also because of an incompletely developed brain structure. The main disadvantages are deemed to be

1) inferior capacity for long term thought. In this case, brother knows murder is bad, as is kicking someone. But he is less likely to make the link between "kicks" and "death". He kind of expects his little sister to writhe in pain a bit and then get up. If it's more direct, say a knife stab, things are different.

2) inferior emotional control. In essence, they get into the state known as "heat-of-passion" or "affekt" more easily than a typical adult. Boy might be as able as an adult in taking care of 6-year-old sister ... if he was calm. But let that little sister get whiny or naggy and he's liable to snap a lot more easily than an adult.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Instead, the court said the boy will be sent to a juvenile rehabilitation center.

The report does not say that he can do from now on whatever he wants. What does this mean? Rehabilitation center? What will be his restrictions and for how long? Of course he should stand trial and send to jail, just my opinion. However in Japan, anything what happens within the same family usually results most of the time in very lenient sentences. Hopefully the mother will be arrrested and charged, what an irresponsible person.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Typical JToday comment section. There is a deadbeat mother who were granted child custody so the kids were basically taken away from their father and those dads were most probably forced to pay child support, but still the first one that everyone blames are the fathers. Typical.

So just that you know: Japan has no joint custody. If the mother gets the kids the father has no legal right to see them. And as someone wrote above fathers are often forced to pay child support.

So let's just leave the fathers out from the discussion for now I propose since the legal obligation fell on the mother.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@ShinkansenCaboose

My kids’ are being taken care of financially - at least they went to a private jr high / high and university. I’m more worried that mom is “taking care” of their money now that the kids are grown up and working.

I haven’t been able to see one of my kids for the last 5 years. Too much one sided “information” from mom is the problem, I think.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And here I was naively thinking he would get the long drop. The justice system of this country is an absolute joke!

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The boy is an adult, the mother is absent, where is the father... bla bla..

Here we have a classic case of burnout of a "weak" person. Who decides he is a "mature" adult? How many grown-up people are there who behave like children? A burnout happens to adults, can happen to a 17-year-old boy who lived in a facility. For me it is just a defeat of this "modern" society, nothing else. A kiss to the little girl anf a kiss to the boy, he needs it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

when in God's name would just japan fix it's justice system? this is what happened in '89, when "juveniles" with terrible crimes were just "rehabilitated." are you trying to say that a 17 year old doesn't know better than to kick a child over and over? this is just sad, all over

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the story about this mother having 5 kids with different fathers is true, and the fact that she didn't take good care of them...then, them she was totally stupid neglecting her children...

Society should prevent things like this happen...

I wonder if the boy and his hister were attending school classes...

Very sad story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Society should prevent things like this happen...

You're right but unfortunately that's exactly what this "society" is producing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Oxycodin NOT TRUE in the USA he would still be tried in Juvenile court because he is under the age of 18 years old, in addition the mother would be arrested for child neglect. In the USA he would be trialed as an adult and got life in prison but I seen enough those cases and glad they decided to put the blame on parents. Still the soon to be adult 17 years old adult need some rehabilitation. It could be also blamed on violent videos games that were they learn to hurt on there. Rip little one

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What’s the point of having different sentencing guidelines for minors if everyone just calls for them to be tried as adults?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The poor little girl was let down by everyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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