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88-year-old ex-bureaucrat to be referred to prosecutors over fatal car crash

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The right foot should be the only foot that touches the brake and accelerator in normal circumstances in vehicles which are either manual or automatic. It is for safety reasons and prevents someone from stopping on both pedals in a panic.

That might have applied to people who were originally trained on standard transmissions as pressing both clutch and brake at the same time was necessary to come to a complete stop without killing the engine, so they had a reflex to use both feet when stopping. But as most people now are trained on automatic transmissions, and pretty much anyone who drives a manual doesn't switch, it hardly applies to today if it ever even truly existed as a safety problem.

Besides which, I cannot see how stomping on both the gas pedal and brake is somehow worse than stomping on the gas pedal only. If this man would have done that it might have reduced the speed of this crash from 90kph to 45 or less and saved lives and lessened injuries.

And on top of all that I cannot even say I ever heard of a serious accident where someone stomped both brake and gas at once. Have you?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Judging by the use of crutches is a clear indicator that his legs are impaired to function properly and therefore no longer fit to conduct any motor vehicle. The sad and tragic ending of mother and daugter must be punished by law. He must face at manslaughter charges.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a very horrible way to die.

At least the little girl and Mom are at peace now and no-one can hurt them any more.

I try to think of them being together now. Rest In Peace.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hopefully he has a conscience and this will be enough punishment for him after sending a 3-year-old girl and her mother to eternity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If anyone needs to be made an example of for the rest of the gray-hairs that think they are above everyone's safety, this is it. Only takes one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In all the countries must be mandatory to renew the license at least every 5 years and must include a test drive and physical and psychological exam. When I got my first license I was 21 but only 4 years later I started to use glasses, without them my vision is compromised, but for renewing my license I only need to present the previous and pay for the new, that's all, no exams, no test at all. There's no need to be discriminatory to the elders, if people pass the exams then they could drive, if not they must give up and use public transportation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

David Varnes, my apologies. My comments should have been directed at Thontaddeo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is just the latest evidence that "justice" in Japan depends on one's social status, which means it's no longer speculation.

Not just Japan, where I come from, celebrities get off too for crimes like hit and run. Money buys the best lawyers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

David Varnes, I don't know where you learnt to drive, but where I learnt The right foot is used for both accelerator and brake pedals. The left foot is reserved for the clutch.

As you refer to the accelerator as "the gas", may I assume you are an American and have never driven a manual car (stick)? If you use the left foot on the brake, you will not be able use the gearshift (stick is what I think you call it) properly as your clutch foot, the left, is already in use.

Re-read what I wrote, traveller. I stated very specifically that I learned and have driven manual transmissions. In fact, I also only use the right foot for both the gas and brake. For someone who's willing to read deeply enough to ascertain my passport country, you missed the forest for the tree.

That being said, I have seen and heard of driving schools in Japan teaching people on automatic transmissions to use the right foot for the gas, the left foot for the brake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

David Varnes, I don't know where you learnt to drive, but where I learnt The right foot is used for both accelerator and brake pedals. The left foot is reserved for the clutch.

As you refer to the accelerator as "the gas", may I assume you are an American and have never driven a manual car (stick)? If you use the left foot on the brake, you will not be able use the gearshift (stick is what I think you call it) properly as your clutch foot, the left, is already in use.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unfortunately, I think you may have to make an example here. There must be a penalty so other old peeps think twice about getting behind the wheel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You're assuming as someone who learned and was taught only using automatic transmission cars. I was taught and have driven manual transmissions, where the three pedals involved means that the left foot is exclusively used for the clutch, while the right foot controls both brake and accelerator.

The right foot should be the only foot that touches the brake and accelerator in normal circumstances in vehicles which are either manual or automatic. It is for safety reasons and prevents someone from stopping on both pedals in a panic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@nakanoguy "Not sure why quite a few posters are lambasting the police here. They don't make the laws, and the laws right now make it legal for that man to drive."

The posts are not lambasting the police only pointing out "favoritism" was shown to this citizen, and it is quite aware the police don't make the laws but sure are responsible for carrying it out on the operational side and in this case any other person is arrested, sent to prosecutor and sentenced to prison. Just recently in the news it was posted on a case similar to this where sentencing was swift not this long nor shown favorable treatment. The underlying issue is much large, the rich go free the poor go to jail Tepco Execs a most recent example. This article has made it clear that a proper arrest did not occur. It took the victims surviving spouse to plea a petition to get justice when it didn't have to had the police agency done the right thing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not sure why quite a few posters are lambasting the police here. They don't make the laws, and the laws right now make it legal for that man to drive.

But I gotta tell ya, every time I see an elderly driver while biking I watch them like a hawk. Unfortunately I don't have eyes in the back of my head :(

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A Mother and her three year old sibling died in an accident.

Kozo Iizuka, who at 87, is deemed to be responsible.

My contention is that Kozo Iizuka could have been aware at the time, that he was unfit to drive the vehicle.

I suggest Kozo Iizuka could have also been aware of these maladies,faculties and the capability to differentiate between the auto-mobiles functions, rendered Kozo Iizuk culpable.

The question remains, was or is Kozo Iizuka aware of these facilities?

I suggest this is the question for the court to decide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Tom

"He can hardly even walk. Give the old man a break. Literally."

What you smoking he killed 2 people and destroyed a father/husbands life. If it were my wife and daughterr i'd be a broken man and might string him up for my own gratification.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, they're testing the guy for potential dementia and Parkinson's among other illnesses, but had no problem at all renewing his license? And, while one of the biggest tragedies of this is that the man will never be able to pay for what he's done, the police should have arrested him immediately, regardless of age -- not questioned him voluntarily. And sorry, but the man must go to a regular prison for the rest of his life, and any money that would go to his family through a will or insurance must first have an agreed upon amount given to the family of those killed if they cannot pay compensation outright at the moment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He shouldn't be driving if he has Parkinson's disease. It is a brain disorder that causes loss of muscle control. So maybe he lost control.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A massive police fail!

It's not the fault of the police it's the fault of the lawmakers. No one over the age of 80 should still be driving. Yeah, yeah, there are a lot of super-genki ojiisans and obaasans over 80 still driving who never had an accident, but there's no way their reflexes are what they should be.

I'm curious about how someone becomes an ex-bureaucrat though.

Easy. You get a job as a bureaucrat. You retire. There are many thousands of them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tragic loss and looks like he should not have been driving but accidental death for whatever reason isn't murderer. There are no laws which say it is. Not only in this country but others too.

A suitable outcome for this tragic accident will be impossible to achieve.

So what is it, death by reckless driving or manslaughter?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He'll be writing a big fat cheque and bowing deeply.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This article skips the clear lie he made to the police claiming "it was not his fault the accelerator jammed" ... still pussyfooting around with this guy. The Matsunaga family petition is actually the only reason this is happening, a paltry two sentences

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As far as I know, one foot controls the gas and the other controls the brake.

You've never actually driven a car, have you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is what I meant by there are 2 different police systems in Japan. One for the rich and famous and one for the normal people

Are you sure there are only 2?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He’s a doddering old man walking on two crutches. Maybe he’s too old to face justice.

If he's too old to face justice, then he's too old to be holding a driving licence.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If he settled out of court with the bereaved in a civil case, would he have to pay personally or would insurance cover it? If it is the latter, it is other people buying policies who are punished, not the driver himself. We end up in a moral hazard situation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kumamoto, along with a handful of other prefectures, are being proactive about this. https://www.facebook.com/Kumamotoi/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel&eid=ARBi-XZdFkKXKu3MCx2g8xws7DieA6SrW5ENMsaXtkPz60wnqhL7oEaiBEPf4kiyizvb1vXfWdb6XoBY

0 ( +0 / -0 )

according to Japanese TV program, he said this accident caused by car performance. but i don't think about it.

he stepped on the accelerator him self. continue he say car maker should make car as more safety for old people. maybe he don't think responsibility him self. he killed tow person. but Japanese police don't move to catch. because he has a big power. i'm disappointed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

that is not what the other posters here were suggesting, they were suggesting letting him go in lieu of payment... obviously he should pay.. all of his assets should be going to victims, but he needs also to be put in jail till the rest of his life

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's not sick, that's the law.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It is a legal course of action to seek compensation for damages including death, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. He's not paying to get off scot-free, the justice system will let him do that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Life imprisonment or death penalty for this oyaji.

Once life lost cannot be recovered.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Some people there suggesting payment to victims, how much your spouse or kids life cost exactly ? sick

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He’s a doddering old man walking on two crutches. Maybe he’s too old to face justice. Let him pay damages to the victims and the case be closed.

How much is a wife/mother and daughter worth?

He should be prosecuted and go to prison. He can hardly walk let alone drive a car, but he went out in his car and killed two people and that is manslaughter.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Glad to see police buckling down under social pressure, he should spend his rest of life in prison and not driving.

Well done on the husband , stay strong and please see this killer get the heaviest punishment possible!

I personally signed that petition too btw.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

He can hardly even walk. Give the old man a break. Literally.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Shame on you Japanese police

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How is it possible for this to happen? As far as I know, one foot controls the gas and the other controls the brake. How is it not ingrained in every driver's muscle memory which foot does which?

Once people's memory and motor skills deteriorate enough, it happens.

An old lady once rear ended me while we were both stopped at a red light. She saw other cars moving, thought she had a green light and hit the gas.

At some point or another, we're not who we used to be anymore.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is an appalling and tragic loss of life, all avoidable.

What adds insult to injury is the matter in wish the investigative procedures, or lack of, were handled by the police authorities.

From the photo above 88-year-old Kozo Iizuka ,a former senior bureaucrat, shouldn't have been in charge of a lawn mower, let a alone a car.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This article is not about an "old man, senility or other excuse" this is about a man who is guilty of killing 2 people and not getting arrested by the police because of his former title. The surviving victim refused the injustice and had to secure signatures to get some form of justice served. This meant this "old man" was above the law. NO. This story is not about failed mechanical brakes, mental illness but about getting the punishment he deserves JAIL. The law must prevail despite rich or poor. Why it has taken so long to get him to a prosecutor is irresponsible of the police, "April 19, resulting in the deaths of a 3-year-old girl and her mother while eight others were injured. The apparent cautious handling of the case by authorities, who did not arrest Iizuka at any time, has fueled speculation of favorable treatment due to his social standing". He was given favorable treatment as others after him were immediately jailed and their cases sent to prosecutors as well as sentenced to prison. This case should NOT be different. Justice must be served.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

As far as I know, one foot controls the gas and the other controls the brake. How is it not ingrained in every driver's muscle memory which foot does which?

You're assuming as someone who learned and was taught only using automatic transmission cars. I was taught and have driven manual transmissions, where the three pedals involved means that the left foot is exclusively used for the clutch, while the right foot controls both brake and accelerator.

That being said, that doesn't excuse this man's behavior. If I ever get to the point where I mix up my brake and gas, or even far before then, I'm turning in my license.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

ThonTaddeo... you don’t know how to drive obviously

“How is it possible for this to happen? As far as I know, one foot controls the gas and the other controls the brake. How is it not ingrained in every driver's muscle memory which foot does which?”

Driving with two feet is how these kind of accidents happen.

You use your right foot to be either on the gas pedal or brake. Never use both feet at the same time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dissolve all of his, no doubt, sizeable assets, and distribute them among the bereaved families and other victims.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

he might have hit the gas by mistake while intending to step on the brake pedal

Once again we see the "confused brake and gas pedals" situation. Whenever I read about a driver accidentally killing someone with his car, I'm on the lookout for this, and sure enough, here it appears.

How is it possible for this to happen? As far as I know, one foot controls the gas and the other controls the brake. How is it not ingrained in every driver's muscle memory which foot does which?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why does it read 'whose car was involved in a fatal crash' under the photograph instead of 'who plowed his car into people, killing them'?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

As a father living in Ikebukuro, a special sympathy goes for Mr. Matsunaga.

did not arrest Iizuka at any time, has fueled speculation of favorable treatment due to his social standing

No Japanese media say this at all such as Asahi, Yomiuri,TBS or anybody.

Folks, I've never this disappointed as a Japanese in Jp police and justice.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

'Refer to prosecutors' doesn't mean squat in this case. The police are just bowing to social pressure. The prosecution will succeed in convicting him (protecting their blessed rate). But, it's a foregone conclusion that any sentence will be suspended anyway. There's a minute chance they will take his license, but he will continue to drive. He will contest any order for compensation until he dies, having disposed of his assets.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

why tf ain't he in cuffs?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

There's no way in hell that this socially connected decrepit old fool will ever spend a moment in prison. But make sure he pays out the yin-yang for what he did to this poor family period

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the number of danger on the road is increasing everyday, watch out?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He is too old to go to jail. He won't probably.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Iizuka is believed to have floored the gas pedal at the time of the crash and there were no signs he applied the brakes, resulting in the deaths of a 3-year-old girl and her mother while eight others were injured

The apparent cautious handling of the case by authorities, who did not arrest Iizuka at any time, has fueled speculation of favorable treatment due to his social standing.

The police have been under fire for questioning Iizuka voluntarily without arresting him.

This is what I meant by there are 2 different police systems in Japan. One for the rich and famous and one for the normal people. There are celebrities who have committed crimes that are punishable with lots of jail time, but ¥ talk and they walk. I really think the laws in Japan needs to be updated and made for EVERYONE. No exemption! Because it is so unfair to see the pain and anguish the grieving father has to endure after the accident caused by this old man and how nicely he (said old man) is being treated even though he took lives and caused injuries to others. Its not fair.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This is also on the cops for letting him keep his license in the shape he is in too!

Speculation, but he may be wielding those sticks as props to make him look more frail than he really is. I would expect them to look battered from use. If he does need those sticks to walk, there's no way he should have been behind the wheel of a car - and I think he knows that.

It was in connection to a Kobe bus driver who was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for an accident that killed 2 people and injured others. He evidently accidentally ran into them in a crosswalk.

That man was a "professional" driver; i.e. he would be expected to maintain a higher standard of driving than the layman. Hence the gaol term.

He’s a doddering old man walking on two crutches. Maybe he’s too old to face justice. Let him pay damages to the victims and the case be closed.

That's what he wants you to think. How about he pays the blood money and then heads off to prison?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

kurisupisu - What on earth is this guy doing driving at 87 years of age?

Well, by looking at the photo it's pretty obvious he can't walk.

This old fella is rich and should have been in a taxi.

I'm curious about how someone becomes an ex-bureaucrat though.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

At last!

the police have also investigated whether physical or mental deterioration related to conditions such as Parkinson's disease or dementia may have contributed to the crash.

He should not get any leniency or a pass for this, because every driver is responsible for controlling the car and must not drive if incapable of doing so. There are so many potential situations that it has to be a self-judgement, meaning that driving a car is equivalent to stating that you are capable of driving. It is not the state's responsibility to detect every single ailment before every single person drives every single car.

It should be remembered that this man chose to drive a car in a very built up area that is well served by some of the world's best public transport. There will be tens of thousands of Kanto residents who will drive on little roads they know in Chiba or Saitama but will not drive into central Tokyo out of fear.

This man also gives older drivers a bad name, which ninety odd % of them do not deserve.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

I saw the interview on the news this morning. He swears not to drive again and not to repeat the same mistake. Every time he passes that area in Ikebukuro in a taxi, he made sure to point out, he says he puts his hands together and prays for the victims, a man’s wife and young daughter. .

He also mentioned that he wishes carmakers would improve technology and make cars that are safe for the elderly to drive.

That last one you must see on TV. He may not have intended to do so but it seemed like he was blaming the car’s brakes or accelerator malfunctioning.

I am of the opinion that cars don’t need to have accelerators that can be floored in Japan; the streets are narrow and there is no need. When was the last time you literally put the pedal to the metal and burnt some rubber? When was the last time you were out on a dark desert highway with cool wind in your hair that you would feel the need for speed? Who would this inconvenience if you couldn’t slam on the gas pedal, a suspect in a police car chase?

It’s time to invest in developing this safety feature and also to implement age group restrictions for licenses. There are reasons that we do not allow 8 year olds to drive. There are reasons we should not allow 88 year olds to do so as well.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

zone2surf,

Agree with you 100%.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I remember some of us commenting about this case a few weeks ago.

It was in connection to a Kobe bus driver who was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for an accident that killed 2 people and injured others. He evidently accidentally ran into them in a crosswalk.

So, there was ordinary guy who got 3 1/2 years in prison for what was clearly an accident. Let's see how this guy makes out.

My bet? He gets charged with something and he might be convicted, but if he gets a prison sentence, it will be suspended!

Different rules for the connected / wealthy, without question!!

26 ( +29 / -3 )

He’s a doddering old man walking on two crutches. Maybe he’s too old to face justice. Let him pay damages to the victims and the case be closed.

-24 ( +4 / -28 )

It's ludicrous a man this old is allowed to drive.

How many more of these incidents do we need? And to think people defend the 'rights' of these senior citizens to operate a dangerous motor vehicle.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

The apparent cautious handling of the case by authorities, who did not arrest Iizuka at any time, has fueled speculation of favorable treatment due to his social standing.

This is just the latest evidence that "justice" in Japan depends on one's social status, which means it's no longer speculation.

26 ( +32 / -6 )

Took a hell of a lot of pressure on the prosecutors and police for this to happen! Just because of his age and "former" position in life he should not be treated any differently than us "regular" folks!

This is also on the cops for letting him keep his license in the shape he is in too!

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Look at him. OMG, why is he driving! Why? How is it debatable that a human of significant advanced age should be driving. NO, NO, NO. Get of the road before you kill someone... wait, that's already happened. How is this happening?

17 ( +22 / -5 )

What on earth is this guy doing driving at 87 years of age?

A massive police fail!

12 ( +24 / -12 )

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