crime

Couple kept 3-year-old son in rabbit cage, starved him and dumped body in river

53 Comments

Police in Tokyo's Adachi Ward have charged a 31-year-old man and his 28-year-old wife with fatally abusing their 3-year-old son and then disposing of his body in a river.

According to police, Shinobu Minagawa and his wife Tomomi confined their son Rikuto in a rabbit cage at their home from December 2012 until March 2013. Fuji TV quoted police as saying the couple starved the boy, then smothered him to death by covering his nose and mouth with a towel.

After he died, they placed his body in a box and dumped it in the Arakawa River. However, the boy's body has not been found, police said.

Tomomi was quoted by police as saying they put Rikuto in the cage to discipline him because he kept disobeying them, Fuji reported.

The couple, who have six other children, were arrested last year on charges of abusing one of their daughters. Police said they also never reported Rikuto as missing and continued to receive child welfare payments for a year after his death until a child welfare center caught onto them.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments
Login to comment

Execute the parents and find the children new homes with people who'll love and care for them.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

The couple, who have six other children, were arrested last year on charges of abusing one of their daughters. Police said they also never reported Rikuto as missing and continued to receive child welfare payments for a year after his death until a child welfare center caught onto them.

They had already been arrested for abusing their children, but nobody was checking up on them until over a year later? Let's hope these kids are already in a safer environment than with these animals and they are themselves kept in a rabbit cage for the rest of their miserable lives.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Rest in Peace, Little Angel. You will be free now of these two evil people who never deserved you. I echo what Frungy said - and hope all the siblings will now find a loving family to take them and cherish them.

I can find no reason whatsoever why these two filthy child-killers should not be executed. There simply is none. There is no greater crime in society to warrant execution that the crimes they have committed.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

surely there must be good Japanese parents instead of these child killers we read about constantly.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If it was a rabbit cage bought at one of the do it yourself stores pet centers, then it had to be really small. Even if it was locked a 3 year old boy could break out of it very easily.

-18 ( +0 / -18 )

"The couple, who have six other children, were arrested last year on charges of abusing one of their daughters..."

And, as usual, we get to read about how something COULD have been done then and there, but was it? NO. They were arrested for abusing a child -- THEIR OWN child for that matter -- and were the other kids taken away out of concern for their safety?

This is the result. Shame on the system. I bet even now the mother will still get next to nothing by way of punishment, with one of the justifications being that "the other children need their mother". Would certainly not be the first time.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

RIP, little angel. In heaven you'll be loved and your suffering will be years if happiness.

This article made me cry. He was only a baby...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Can not even imagine this kind of torture. This is one of the times I wish my catholic belief was still present and I could just wish he would be in a better place now, but anywhere would be better. RIP. And these two should be punished by having miraculously evolving a conscience and face a lifetime of regret!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

People have some funny views regarding discipline here. The kid was only three years old FFS. A three year old acts like a three year old, oh and JapanGal, a terrified, malnourished toddler isn't going to kick his way out of a rabbit hutch, a face the wrath of his psychotic, monstrous parents.

Sickening.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The couple, who have six other children, were arrested last year on charges of abusing one of their daughters.

CMON JPOLICE!!!!! This should have been a red flag!!!! These two idiots should never see the light of day EVER! Please give the other kids a better home...anywhere is better than with these two monsters

5 ( +5 / -0 )

surely there must be good Japanese parents instead of these child killers we read about constantly.

It depends on who you ask. If you ask most posters on this site, no, there aren't any good Japanese parents.

If you ask someone who thinks logically, and actually knows Japan and Japanese parents, then yes, the overwhelmingly huge majority of parents in Japan love their kids and are good parents.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I sure would like to see these parents executed the same way their little boy was killed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most Japanese parents at least okay. Good parents seldom have reason to be written up in the press. Fortunately pervert parents like those reported here are a minority. I too am surprised this couple was not separated from their children after they were arrested for abusing their daughters. How anyone can torture and murder their own baby is beyond me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What the heck is wrong with some people? I can't stand it...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes, this tragic event is now getting a lot of TV coverage. What a nauseating sight that the couple confined the kid in the rabbit cage sending him to his death. They have really done a hideous thing!

After all, children cannot choose their parents. May he rest in peace.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Strangerland: "If you ask most posters on this site, no, there aren't any good Japanese parents. If you ask someone who thinks logically, and actually knows Japan and Japanese parents, then yes, the overwhelmingly huge majority of parents in Japan love their kids and are good parents."

Lame. You're saying most posters on this site are illogical and don't know Japan and Japanese parents simply because you don't always agree with what they post. I guess we know which group you fit into. I don't know ANYONE who posts on here who thinks there are no good parents in the nation, despite the fact that we really only hear of BAD news in the crime section regarding parents, and far too often of late hear of parents killing their children (is it maybe because you always jump to their defense and they're always innocent?), but the posters is obviously just expressing their shock and disgust.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Jesus, why is it that scum always breed non-stop?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If only adopting children were so simple. Even in the states, it's a broken system. I feel empathy for the dead boy, but now these others are labeled as "unwanted". http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/09/30/issues/cultural-and-legal-hurdles-block-path-to-child-adoptions-in-japan/#.VUCs4cbwNFI

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These " parents" deserve the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A good sentence, would be 20 years each, in a rabbit cage,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good grief, these freaks have 6 other children?? So they just keep cranking them out and killing them at wil? The mind boggles. They are not human.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They'd already been arrested for abusing one of their daughters?! Just goes to show how many ''parents''these days have the maturity of a teenager. Life's a bitch? Just take it out on the kids. Maybe if having children is such a hassle, they should have thought of that before. I've heard that tiger cages were often used as a form of punishment in dictatorial South East Asian nations. How can a 3 year old be naughty? You don't ''discipline'' a 3 year old. These pathetic excuses for human beings deserve to be put into cramped cages themselves.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The father was arrested last October for abusing the second eldest daughter. Apparently the police found her with a dog collar around her neck...this man is despicable and needs to be put away...same with the wife.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Torture for 3-4 months then murder the boy! 3 year olds tend to disobey no need to torture the poor boy. Put him up for adoption if you no longer want him. Practice contraception if you don't want more kids or were they welfare payments?

Are terrible life to have had with these parents. The other children too! To see your little brother in a small cage withering away, frightning.

The news media is a business. A business needs to make money. More readers = more money. News readers seem to want, bad news. The below is very insulting and very shallow. Unless your addressing 3 year olds.

surely there must be good Japanese parents instead of these child killers we read about constantly.

It depends on who you ask. If you ask most posters on this site, no, there aren't any good Japanese parents.

If you ask someone who thinks logically, and actually knows Japan and Japanese parents, then yes, the overwhelmingly huge majority of parents in Japan love their kids and are good parents.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jesus, why is it that scum always breed non-stop?

Seriously! I would never encourage government intervention or anything like that, but I just cannot understand why I know people desperate to have a baby, yet people who can easily make babies do not realise how blessed they are. I really hope the courts don't go easy on there monster parents. Say what you will, but their kids would be better off in an orphanage than with these sick excuses for parents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do hey keep the other children at home unattended and they go to play Pachinko ...?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

for how long we have to read such stories, we need social experts and psychiatrists to explain, are these kind of people normal and if not then it is terrifying because the number is so high that we are watching such news on regular basis now. another worrying aspect is that the people only notice them after the tragedy. in a close door society we do not know how many children are suffering.

The story and tragedy of this child is very painful, first he suffered and faced torture and then his own parents killed him and then his death become known to the world after one year.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is seriously sick. What are the police doing? after knowing about the daughter all of the children should have been taken away from them to keep them all safe. It's common sense. How did the parents get away with being able to stay with the children?

For those saying just "put away" these parents, don't understand that it won't scare other criminals but if they are executed others will be more fearful to commit the same actions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People seam to be acting like America is any different. Thousands of children are living with parents who were accused of abuse. It's not just Japan's system. It's the same everywhere. Unfortunately there's a lot more to it than just taking a kid away the second something bad happens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ali KhanApr. 29, 2015 - 08:37PM JST we need social experts and psychiatrists to explain, are these kind of people normal and if not then it is terrifying because the number is so high that we are watching such news on regular basis now

127.3 million people in Japan. Even if there were 1 000 cases a year (that's about 3 headlines a day) that would still only be 0.0007% of the population. The percentage isn't very high.

You're confusing news coverage with the incidence of a crime.

This case is horrific, but don't confuse that with the crime being common.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let those untermensch swing from a rope, even hanging is too mild of a punishment.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I wish I believed in Hell.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Frungy: if you are a regular reader of this newspaper then you are surely know the child abuse or the parents death through the hand of their children, ask Japan Today how many cases ofchild abuses or parents death by their children they have reported in one year?

127.3 million people in Japan. Even if there were 1 000 cases a year (that's about 3 headlines a day) that would still only be 0.0007% of the population. The percentage isn't very high. You're confusing news coverage with the incidence of a crime. This case is horrific, but don't confuse that with the crime being common.

even if the number is so which you have cited, we should speak out and there should be a solution and it should be stopped.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How I believe such cruelly has been done by parents? Who are Japanese..Speechless..... No mercy needs punitive action..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Omg! Every time I see these stories about abusing or killing their own kids, I think of my own and tear up..how can anyone do this to a child, let alone, their own child. The one place a child is supposed to feel safe and protected is with their parents...and then, this!? Absolutely unforgivable!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How do these kind of people get together? What has lead them to be the way they are? It's a totally different world. I can't even begin to imagine what their children go through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People seam to be acting like America is any different.

Well a) that would be because not every poster here is american b) the website title is "JapanToday" and c) the couple in question are both Japanese and from Tokyo and have nothing to do with America.

Call me insightful but thats probably why no one is mentioning America, except to say the problem IS as bad over there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jeez aged Christ!! What a disgusting story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Two comments. First, just horrible. My son is nearly 2 years old. Setting aside the actual act of smothering my own son to death, the idea of depriving my son of food for months on end prior to actually killing him just makes me want to throw up. Utter and complete revulsion. I just can't even get my head around the depravity that allows someone to wilfully do that.

Second, there is information missing in this article. When was he actually killed? Was it before or after they were arrested for abusing one of their daughters. The article seems to imply it happened before? Is that the case? If so, why the heck didn't someone ask to see all of their children when they were arrested? And how old were all of their children? Did they attend school? There is so much about this that just doesn't make sense here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

for how long we have to read such stories, we need social experts and psychiatrists to explain, are these kind of people normal and if not then it is terrifying because the number is so high that we are watching such news on regular basis now.

It is not "so high", JT just selects the juicy news for its readers. It is a news site after all. It has to generate clicks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

7 kids in total? It is expensive enough to raise one or two children here, let alone that many. Sounds like they were most likely doing it to score extra welfare money, which was most likely promptly blown at pachinko.

They should be locked away for the rest of their lives for this heinous crime, but here is betting that they end up getting a 2 year suspended sentence and their other children returned to their custody shortly afterwards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They were arrested last year for abusing their daughter, and they had already murdered their son the year before.

Incredibly, no-one checked on the other children when they were arrested last year; no-one noticed that one child was missing. The incompetence of the authorities beggars belief. It's hard to see how they could be any more useless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

surely there must be good Japanese parents instead of these child killers we read about constantly.

Of course there are. Otherwise there'd be no kids at all.

I sure would like to see these parents executed the same way their little boy was killed.

I'd settle for knowing they were just executed. Or locked up for good so nobody else can ever be harmed by them.

Everyone, let's forget the nationalities for a sec and reflect on the fact all of us all find this deplorable. That we all do says a lot if you ask me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Rest in peace, little Rikuto.

surely there must be good Japanese parents instead of these child killers we read about constantly

Yes, there are! The Japanese parents I know love their children madly but those are, unfortunately, not the ones that hit the news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

akkkkk yes the other tens of millions......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if it was locked a 3 year old boy could break out of it very easily.

Obviously he couldn't. They turned it on its side and stacked cement blocks on the door. They also didn't feed him regularly 'so the cage wasn't soiled' according to the news last night, so he must have been weakened.

Poor child.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

RIP Little angel. There will be no more tears in heaven.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Frungy... I usally love taking the moral high ground and wish to show compassion. Not this time...

Execute them!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I seriously hate reading these types of articles. Seriously, what quality or necessary information does this provide? That the people of this world can be truly terrible to one another, even to their own flesh and blood? I know this world isn't all sugar, spice, and everything nice, but this story is mindless filler meant to generate hate.

I frown upon whoever thought this article was worthy of being published, and I'm not talking specifically about JapanToday.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japanese children have more chance of being killed by there parents than from strangers, safety Japan image is being shot to s##$

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Good case for public hanging!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan just give them a light sentence that's why they never learned, poor little boy RIP ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What I simply fail to understand, why have the child if their is no love for the child to begin with?

Contraception is always available, it should have been deployed if you simply wanted the fun and not a bun in the oven.

What a way to go, Such suffering, to starve than suffocate to death.....

The miracle of birth should be cherished by both genders however many people are simply abusing it. I don't consider any woman who abuse the miracle of birth a woman, such actions are crude, a very ugly quality and not very lady like.

The last action. "dumped the body in river". makes this couple not even human, even animals have more love, as a story in the uk a few years back proved . "a farmers Dog takes in abandoned child as one of its own"

Simply sad, reminds me of the couple who were addicted to online browser based gaming, they had a child, neglected it, inevitable the child died, why have the child if your not ready or rather not fit to have a child?

There are more civilised way to discipline a child, a good way to acquire such skills is to attend parenting school. The only reason the child needed to be disciplined was because they failed as a parent in the very beginning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites