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Mother, holding 2 children, jumps off platform into path of train; all 3 dead

80 Comments

A woman, holding her two young children, jumped off a platform into the path of a train at JR Kita-Toda Station in Toda, Saitama Prefecture, on Wednesday. All three died in what police believe was a murder-suicide.

According to JR East officials and police, the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. on the Saikyo Line, Kyodo News reported. A station employee called police to say that a woman and two children had been hit by a train after jumping onto the tracks. Several commuters on the platform also witnessed the incident, police said.

Witnesses told police that there was nothing unusual about the woman's behavior until the train approached the station. Then she suddenly held her children by their arms and jumped off the platform.

Police said the woman, 37, and her children — an eight-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy — were taken to hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. They lived in Saitama City.

JR East said train services were suspended until around 12:20 p.m.

If you or someone you know in Japan are having suicidal thoughts, you can get help. Click here for more info.

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80 Comments
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Good grief

8 ( +11 / -3 )

It not sad or tragic,it just a symptom of Japanese society failure

We can't determine that until we know why she did this. Until then, it is really hard and sad for me to wake up to this type of news especially since I have kids the same age.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

The daily family murders just keep rolling along.

-14 ( +15 / -29 )

With mental health treatment in Japan still in the Dark Ages, we can expect more of this sort of thing for years to come.

-16 ( +20 / -36 )

This is present Japan.

LDP government prioritize to benefit large corporations or to buy costly weapons from US, they have no interest safety or life of general public at all.

-6 ( +27 / -33 )

A daily occurrence and it's avoidable with proper mental health care systems. It's tragic that this happens almost on a daily basis here in Japan with no real care from the Japanese Government or the general public.

A Mother grabs her children and jumps in front of train.

We need to find out why so we can set up systems to stop this from happening again and again.

What is the root of the problem?

Let the meetings begin.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

A daily occurrence and it's avoidable with proper mental health care systems. It's tragic that this happens almost on a daily basis here in Japan with no real care from the Japanese Government or the general public. 

A Mother grabs her children and jumps in front of train. 

We need to find out why so we can set up systems to stop this from happening again and again.

What is the root of the problem? 

Let the meetings begin.

I think maybe you'll feel much better when finally realize you can't control human nature and the government, any government, simply cannot oversee a whole population, unless you wanna live in some type of dystopian Authoritarian controlled State like Fahrenheit 451.

In a 1994 interview, Bradbury cited political correctness as an allegory for the censorship in the book, calling it "the real enemy these days" and "thought control and freedom of speech control."

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

A reflection on current life in Japan?

Pent up misery and mental confusion?

Is life really so bad?

I would argue that yes it is.

This is a nation where people are constantly full of self doubt, told what to do constantly, even told to smile!

Parents with kids at home (many now alone) don’t receive much support.

The daily diet of faux pas happiness trotted out daily on television screens is a weird soup of cooking shows,manzai and banal quiz shows-it all gels into a vast white noise morass-extremely off kilter with reality.

The reality is a faceless apartment stuck in the middle of some vast suburban sprawl where the days intermingle into repetition and life just gets more tiring and more expensive.

People are not fine…

1 ( +30 / -29 )

the government, any government, simply cannot oversee a whole population

It doesn't have to. But it can coax the overall aim of the society to one based on real care and love, instead of "you are on your own". Real human nature actually responds well to love. It's what we are all seeking too.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Shocking news.

If an adult wishes to take their own life -for whatever reason - that is their decision, right or wrong. But don't you dare murder innocent kids in the process. You do not own them and are robbing them of their right to life.

Rest in Peace to the two kids.

17 ( +26 / -9 )

That is just so sad and tragic. The driver of the train must be traumatised.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

This is very sad news for them and their family. RIP

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sick selfish monster. She murdered her own children. May they rest in peace.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Just yesterday a so called "mother" wakes up her 13 years old boy drives him to a park then stabs him to death!! and now this !! I am sorry but these are NOT "mothers" or even humans, these are DEVILS in dresses.

NO mother will ever do these acts, not even in the wild animals kingdom.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

 But it can coax the overall aim of the society to one based on real care and love

coaxing? Humans?

What like a herd of sheep? You ever see those dog herders on the TV coaxing the sheep or cows into a pen? Two things must exist: the animal must be dumb, lack a will or independence, and two, the dog uses fear. We animals are not much different. If you want coaxing of care and love, no government will do that because there are too many dogs about.

If you want an easy answer I can give you one and doesn't require we hand our will and freedom over to an authoritarian government: it's the city / urban life that's traps folks in. Lots of love and care from my neighbors where I live out in the country.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

It sure looks like 2023 is going to be another " PLEASANT YEAR " Happy New Year Everyone. Now digest this.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Any suicidal cases should be carefully reported, in line with the guideline issued by the WHO. Detailed descriptions are unnecessary.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I won't speculate about the circumstances, will say I agree with this being called murder-suicide. I also fell sorry for anyone who has to witness this. Train driver is a job some long for, and they do not deserve to be placed in this situation. Imagine how traumatic it would be if someone decided to commit suicide by jumping in front of your car.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

I hope none of them suffered long during that moment of despair.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Why? This poor woman... what could have driven her to do this? Who was the father, where were her parents, her in-laws? What was to terribly wrong to have pushed her to that far? So many questions but authorities never seem to dig into the why's? Their afraid the answers will incriminate Japanese society overall.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Absolute tragedy, but what can you do? As long as Japan walks away from mental illness. The government can’t do it, the government doesn’t care and is not in the business of sorting out mental health, so what can and should be done about this? How can we curtail these suicides, any suggestions?

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Stop playing God and don’t accuse the dead. Having suicidal thoughts doesn't necessarily indicate that the person has mental illness.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

As long as Japan walks away from mental illness.

With mental health treatment in Japan still in the Dark Ages

This just sounds like Japan hating. Japan's suicide rate is lower than in the US. You walk around and often see mental clinics with licensed psychiatrists available on the national healthcare system. Back in the states? You have to pay 300 dollars an hour for that. Japan is improving.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Imagine witnessing that...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Another very Japanese tragedy soon to disappear down the memory hole, any lessons ignored. In our shared thoughts for this unfortunate trio, spare one too for the residents of Saitama; kept on edge by keening police sirens racing to the scene of each latest outrage traducing Saitama Prefecture’s reputation.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Who in the hell down flagged Fightos comments ???

so it’s ok to kill kids ??

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

David BrentToday  07:08 am JST

With mental health treatment in Japan still in the Dark Ages, we can expect more of this sort of thing for years to come.

and what experience do you have of mental health treatment in Japan?

in my experience it has been great. I can walk into any clinic I want, when I want. Mental health treatment requires one thing, and it is probably the most important thing and that is for the patient to take that first step, sadly this person decided on this.

The driver is gonna have a lot so deal with, we may rationalize and adult suicide, but two innocent kids, that a on a completely new level. Not to mention the witnesses.

I can’t help but wonder why we don’t read any positive articles about suicide and mental health?

Dave: I guess you e never been u see that much pressure. By the way, it’s not about pressure per sae. It’s about an illness where logical thinking is blocked out, hope is removed, and a way out can’t be seen. It is not about pressure, but it can start the slide into a mental health crisis.

Again this really goes against the UN WHO guidelines say about reporting suicide. It shouldn’t tell people the method or the location as it spurs copycat attempts. The fact we keep going on about kinda shows how journalists love this stuff, but they really don’t do many articles on depression itself. I guess it’s just not got enough ……..horror for them. It’s very very rare to read an article, today thousands of people were treated for depression. Hundreds saved from suicide with talking and medicine.Just not as sexy( from a journalists point of view) .

Remember, we aren’t going to read, today rail staff stopped a person who thought they were going to kill themselves. It’s a boring read, no eye catching . The reality out there is workers are saving people every day. If you wish proof, when was there an article on how wonderful the nurses, docs, meds and health service can be.. The media make it out to be worse than the reality. Let’s remember that!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

periods of high-stress societal problems like COVID, tax-raises, raise in unemployment, etc. These are all periods were people may feel down

A feel good solution hardly likely to be noticed by people who feel very bad. The solutions are already out there but just need to be tweaked. Like Germany, Japan needs to step up and provide its people with opportunities to rest up at well-funded sanatoriums and spas at a token personal cost. Extended stays, even at ‘cheap’ places like Kampo no Yado aren’t cheap and can easily set one back a small fortune.

Anything’s better than the ‘live and let die’ benign negligence that’s apparently as happy when people are adding to the fecundity of the soul than when they’re alive.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Not to mention the witnesses.

The mother of a friend of mine witnessed somebody jump (also in Saitama) the other day. I told her to contact the station master or police to see what options are available but she declines to do so. Don't think there are specific support avenues available in Japan for witnesses of suicides.

The mother is just getting on with things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No one will ever know for sure why this mother did such a horrible thing. She surely must have been depressed and desperate. RIP to all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So sad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh poor wom... She murdered two kids!

If she wanted to end it, her choice. Awful decision but still here life.

But to take others with her. Even worse, two kids who had no way to fight back and trusted her. Awful to the core.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So tragic...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You walk around and often see mental clinics with licensed psychiatrists available on the national healthcare system.

The "mental clinics" in Japan are nothing more than medicine dispensaries. They don't care about your problems - they just want to prescribe you a benzo and get you out of there ASAP.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Hermitage NadsToday  02:43 pm JST

The "mental clinics" in Japan are nothing more than medicine dispensaries. They don't care about your problems - they just want to prescribe you a benzo and get you out of there ASAP.

Absolute rubbish, and doesn't help anyone.You might want to encourage people to seek help instead of criticizing the whole profession/sytem. You don't know the difference between a chronic mental problem and an Acute mental health problem.

An acute problem is easily curable, because it is acute. They are given time to discuss things and depending on the problem has ranged from 30 minutes to 1 hour. So I am not sure what you are basing your judgement on. Furthermore, medication is an important part of treatment, especially in acute conditions, which can give immediate relief for certain symptoms before the secondary symptoms lift. To actually say they don't care ignores the reason why they may have gone into mental health in the first place. On top of that it can be hard to treat patients with chronic conditions if they don't want to be treated. a Bit like fart people knowing they they're fat, but love coke, or pizza, hamburgers, French fries and cookies. BTW we very rarely prescribe patients benzodiazepines, and if we did, its for a very narrow time period. In my experience the docs, nurses and counsellors have been fantastic.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They don't care about your problems

Well they are still doing a better job than US mental clinics since the suicide rate is lower in Japan. Hate Japan first then make up facts later. Why stay in a country with so much hatred towards it? If mental clinics in Japan are so bad as stated above then the ones in the US must be even worse.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The "mental clinics" in Japan are nothing more than medicine dispensaries

Exactly. Wasn't always the case. Only started with push by big pharma push into Japan in early 2000s. Seen as an untapped market with massivd potential for $$$. They even came up with phrase for mental illiness: "kokoro no kaze" (cold of the heart). Implies that mental illness is no more than a cold and can be cured with pills. Now completely normalised and can turn up to any doctor and say you're feeling depressed and get instant box of pills.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mother

Why did u do it ?

i didnt want to die. why did u cut my life short Mom ?

I still want to live ,go to school,play with my friends ,dream of my future and have some deep breath of life.

Why mother ?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hey suicidal parents leave your kids alone!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

No one can blame the mother if she felt hopeless and suicidal - we don't live in a very kind world at all. However, to kill her two children as well? Why not just take yourself out? Let your kids live, for goodness' sake! It's hard to feel bad for this person when she deliberately killed two children along with her, instead of just killing herself. May the children rest in peace. Such unbearably sad news.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

toraToday  04:47 pm JST

The "mental clinics" in Japan are nothing more than medicine dispensaries

This is very true. Worst mental healthcare I've seen in a developed country.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

nishikat - This just sounds like Japan hating. Japan's suicide rate is lower than in the US.

nishikat - Well they are still doing a better job than US mental clinics since the suicide rate is lower in Japan.

The total and male suicide rates are slightly higher per capita in the US than in Japan. (16.1 to 15.3 and 25 to 21.8, respectively.)

However, the female suicide rate is higher in Japan. (9.2 to 7.5). Women, especially single mothers, in Japan have it tougher than their US counterparts, as child support payment and enforcement is practically non-existent here. (And, that is not "Japan hating". It's just a fact.)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan's suicide rate is lower than in the US.

Yes but you're just comparing the overall number. Child suicide is higher in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What the hell is going on in Saitama?

We may never know what this woman was facing in life, and I really want to be empathetic toward her, but to take your children with you in death is absolutely inexcusable.

May they all rest in eternal peace.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

BTW we very rarely prescribe patients benzodiazepines, and if we did, its for a very narrow time period. In my experience the docs, nurses and counsellors have been fantastic.

I know of three people personally who went to a mental health clinic in Osaka for anxiety or depression. In all cases, they filled out a questionnaire, had a 5-minute chat with the doctor about their symptoms - not long enough to solve anything - and walked out with a month's prescription for benzos. None of the patients received any explanation about the addictiveness of benzos or withdrawal symptoms, either. According to the "doctor", there are no withdrawal symptoms.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sick sow! Why did she getthe kids involved?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

as child support payment and enforcement is practically non-existent

It's done through a different process and as long as the legal father has a salary there is a deduction from his salary to her account. I know a personal case about this.

walked out with a month's prescription for benzos.

Is this a true story?

And, that is not "Japan hating".

Is mental health care in Japan much worse than in the US? People who are critical of the Japanese healthcare system on JT usually like to compare it to the US system .

you're just comparing the overall number

Then what I said was true. And with that how is.....

.....Japan still in the Dark Ages....

with mental health care? Especially if the suicide rate in Japan is lower than in the USA?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There are reasons why people commit suicide and infanticide. Psychosis is certainly one of them, but a very abusive partner can drive a woman to despair and desperation as to how to resolve the situation. Cases like this need thorough investigation to find the history of them, and public education and readily available resources to be alerted by the public or concerned relatives are essential.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Horrible news.

Did she drag her children with her going off the platform or did the three jump together?

Any news about her husband/father and any family been interviewed?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Unfortunately depression is a beast that is little understood. I would have thought that Anthony Bourdain and Robin Williams were on top of the world but I would have been wrong. That being said Rest in Peace dear lady and sweet innocent children.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is shocking. We need more details. What are their names? Why did she do it? Why aren't these horror stories ever followed up?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Family ties seem so fragile in Japan. The country needs more mental health facilities and support for parents and families because clearly something in their societal system is broken if tragedies like this and the one about the mother stabbing her kid keep occurring.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Very sad news again , someone have to help the people to don't think negative on his or her life , change mentality and philosophy of life , think positive , every body can change the life , if you are not happy change job , country , partner , don't give up , take a break , there are many solution to feel better , die only after 100 years old , never think to die . I wish all happy new year . Sorry to the family lost young mother and the two children R.I.P

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have posted here years ago that mental health is something that the government of Japan recognizes but hasn’t done anything about it. This is nothing new the cycle of life won’t change it only revolves. @Michael Michada you asked what is the root of the problem, it’s simple the problem is there is not enough attention being placed on mental illness because it’s a way of life in Japan. It’s a high stress society on steroids. To answer your question? The problem is lack services to address the many problems most Japanese households face. From competing to get into a good high school, then college and to find a good job, then the bullying I. schools and the work place, the long work hours, low quality of family life, DV those are just a few. Programs are needed to address these issues instead of just talking about them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I consider myself fairly experienced, but I couldn't imagine witnessing such a thing. The memory would haunt me forever.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

GoodDec. 29  07:01 am JST

Good grief

Shocking and sad.

commanteerToday  09:56 am JST

I consider myself fairly experienced, but I couldn't imagine witnessing such a thing. The memory would haunt me forever.

I once saw somebody on a bicycle hit by a garbage truck in front of a video arcade in Windsor, Canada. It was horrifying to say the least. That was an adult. Something like this would spook me even worse. I can't even imagine how the train conductor must have felt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very sad for those poor children whose mother was obviously in need of mental care. Mental illness is rampant in this country for many reasons.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wasn't it just yesterday another mother stabbed her son to death? Or was that the day before and yesterday was a different family murder? And Saitama again? The place where a guy just killed three in his family, and where police took 18 hours to catch him because he wouldn't answer his door when they rang?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hope this stupid, selfish woman is now rotting in hell. If you want to off yourself because you feel there is absolutely nothing you can do, and that is a horrible shame because there always IS something you can do, then please start with yourself and leave others out of it. These poor kids... probably loved their mother and depended on her and their father, and were thinking it was winter break and time for family, then the monster does this.

Awa no gaijin: "Suicides are an aweful problem in Japan."

So is murdering family.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So I waited to comment,

So the "Japan" has a problem, "the government" blah blah blah.

According to the Japanese news , the woman was a foreigner married to another foreigner.

Basically all non Japanese.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

With mental health treatment in Japan still in the Dark Ages, we can expect more of this sort of thing for years to come.

I’d really like to understand why this is downvoted ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

According to the Japanese news , the woman was a foreigner married to another foreigner.

Basically all non Japanese.

Did they reside in Japan ? Because there where you’d hope to get access to mental healthcare you might need before jumping in front of a train ?

The race of the people doesn’t really matter?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So sad. Please now RIP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She murdered her own children. I'm lost for words.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is possible to build a glass wall between the platform and the tracks with doors that line up with the doors on the trains and that only open with the train's doors. You see such platforms in many nation's subways. I have seen this in Singapore way back in 1989 on a Japanese build system (at least the subway coaches were all made by Kawasaki) and more recently in Shanghai. The subways at Atlanta, Dallas and Beijing also have this feature. Those are the ones I know. I think, considering the frequency of such deaths not just in Japan but elsewhere subway operators, light urban rail lines and regional governments should make it a priority to build such walls on their platforms. It seems like an obvious safety measure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I should have said the subways at the airports in Atlanta, Dallas and Beijing have this feature.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is possible to build a glass wall between the platform and the tracks with doors that line up with the doors on the trains and that only open with the train's doors.

It's done at many stations in Japan. However, it's not practical at stations used by different types of trains where the door spacing is different. E.g. the express train carriages have three doors and regular train carriages have four doors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's done at many stations in Japan. However, it's not practical at stations used by different types of trains where the door spacing is different. E.g. the express train carriages have three doors and regular train carriages have four doors.

So different rolling stock on the same line? Humpf!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Something like that could lower the cables to floor level for boarding then raise them back up before the train departs. Make it a little taller too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, they have them at the Takatuski Sta, with the raising rope-type on the Rapid Express tracks, and the sliding solid-type on the Local and standard Express tracks. The latter being installed fairly recently. Other stations on the line have them, as well.

I'm not sure if those rope-type gates will really stop people who wish to deliberately jump in front of trains, though. And, the solid ones, while strong, are kinda low. Probably not much of a deterrent for deliberate jumpers, as well. But, they should both prevent accidental falls, as well as being pushed by psychos. (The latter is the reason I stand sideways when waiting on the platform, which is a habit I developed riding the NYC subways for many decades. It makes it harder to be pushed.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately, Japan is worldwide famous because of this suicide culture, despite it is a wealthy country it has this way of committing self-murder to end psychological pain and tragically this self-murder plus homicide of two innocent children. Japanese society has to frankly start to discuss this suicide issue in all levels, schools, workplaces, governments of all levels, city, province, country have to hire specialists to lead, start, create support groups with psychologists, doctors, national and international experts, create communication channels, hotlines, physical places to attend people in need. This suicide problem has to be tackled to reduce the absurd number of unnecessary deaths of people who had no one to talk, share their suffering.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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