Father and son killed by drunk driver while heading to shrine


A drunk driver veered onto the sidewalk and ran over a father and son, killing them both, in Higashimatsuyama, Saitama Prefecture, police said Monday.

According to police, Kazuo Arai, 52, was driving under the influence of alcohol at around 12:10 a.m. on Sunday, when he mounted the sidewalk and hit Kameo Sato, 70, and his son Takayuki Sato, 39, TV Asahi reported.

The men were reportedly heading to a shrine to offer their first prayer of the year, a Japanese New Year tradition known as "hatsumode." The pair were taken to hospital, where they later died from their injuries.

Arai was quoted by police as saying that he had been drinking, but he thought it would be alright to go out for a quick trip to get some cigarettes.

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Arai was quoted by police as saying that he had been drinking, but he thought it would be alright to go out for a quick trip to get some cigarettes.

at 52 years of age he should have known better. RIP father and son.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What a stupid, useless, inconsiderate 52 cigarette smoking dumb ass bastardo! RIP poor father and son going to hatusmode out in Saitama.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Smoking kills!



0 ( +5 / -6 )

Rather than charge drunk driving resulting in death with "professional negligence" , Isn't it time to start charging them with murder?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So now because of one selfish drunk this family starts off the new year horribly. RIP to the victims, and I hope that as well as having to live with it for the rest of his life the driver does some hard time in jail.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm a strong advocate of the blood alcohol content for driving being zero (there's no "grey" area then); but even I have to admit that it probably won't stop the likes of this arrogant idiot from getting behind the wheel after a couple of shochus.

Given that, in a metropolitan area like Saitama, there are combinis and cigarette vending machines aplenty, could he really not have walked?

Try as I might, I really cannot understand the way of thinking of some people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder what the police have to do to fight succesfully drunk drivers- shoot them on the spot?

You don't drive to thecombini to buy cigarettes- just go and ask your neighbour for an extra pack, if you're so deperate. That's how we do in my country. Oh, wait, this is Japan, you don't talk to your neighbors. I walk every morning 3 km (after feeding the baby and putting him to sleep) to the nearest station and back, and it takes me 30 min, 10 of which are for shopping.If I can walk that fast , with that huge scar on my belly from a surgery 3months ago, he could have walked too!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Will he get the rope for this? I hope he does. Absolutely no excuse for his horrible actions. He is 100% responsible for killing these 2 innocent human beings through his own negligence. I wish i could feel sorry for this guy as he was drunk and made some terrible mistake, but i just can't feel any bit of sympathy for people like him.

How terrible it must be for the family if the deceased at this time of year. Live each day as if it were your last day folks, you never know when big boss above says time has come.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Committing vehicular homicide by driving while impaired. That's not "professional negligence", that's manslaughter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I absolutely detest the selfish idiocy of drunk drivers. An appalling lack of concern for anyone else, how self-involved and pathetic can a drunk driver be? The Japanese MUST at last set an example. Make it a life sentence A LIFE SENTENCE, as it is a premeditated act resulting in the death of innocent people. Stop the lunacy, PUT THEM AWAY FOR LIFE!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

YongYang - I regularly see old guys drink driving. I've even seen them sitting in their cars at a combini chugging down a chu-hi before they drive off. It seems, in this case, the young people of Japan are more responsible than the older ones. However, I do agree with your sentiment of punishment. If you kill someone while driving drunk in Australia the charge is manslaughter and carries up to a 20 year sentence, plus the driving infringements.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Did: Me too and I have called the police and given them the license plate. I have also admonished several who have been in the supermarket car-park and phones the police on them too. I ain't all write and bawl, I DO. They are beyond belief.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I live in the sticks a bit & seeing drunks driving is too common, year the mrs works lots at a mall so I drive & pick her up & one o f the reasons is the drunks, if you look you will notice cars weaving a bit or a lot, seen 3-4 in the last week, if they are in front you can give them extra distance but I HATE when they are behind me, if that happens I turn off soon as I can then get back on, the keystones do nothing except wait for accidents then they respond, very little preventive policing in my neck of the woods

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow...that's unbelievable! Die walking to a shrine to pray for the new year. Wow! Does it get any worse? I feel so sorry for those left behind. Sad 2012 for that family.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

On the topic of DUI, I live in Fukuoka, which apparently has the highest drink/drive rate in all Japan, and has done for many years. However, I haven't seen any random checks this year, no "checkpoints", just the usual little vans whizzing around going about their normal business with their lights on which gives every DUI/speeding/keitai-using-idiot a heads-up.

Now, if I were the chief of police in Fukuoka, and my prefecture was year in, year out the worst in Japan for drink driving, I think I'd want to do something about that; to lessen the shame if nothing else. Alas, here in Japanland, it appears the police don't have the initiative nor gumption to really take the bad driving to task, so much so that I would say that the problem is now out of control (generally, not just talking about drink driving here, I mean the red-light runners, speeders, keitai/watching-TV whilst driving brigade as well, of which there are far too many).

Points on licences and fines that barely lessen the weight of a wallet are not enough of a deterrent; the police need to get serious about this. Japan - low violent crime rate, soaring traffic crime rate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

for goodness sake!

its getting to the point where i don't ever feel like visiting Saitama, whether is murder, arson, assault, or drunk driving Saitama seems to be rapidly going downhill in terms of violence. I love Japan i really do, but i mean come on a father and son can't even go on a walk without being run by some jerk who thought it would be okay to drive tot he store for some cigarettes even though he was plastered.

RIP father and son.... what a horrible way to start off the new year.

I hope the family will be able to get past this

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rest in Peace to them both. I'm not a religious man - don't believe in any "gods" - but if there was one, surely this son and his dad deserve to be in a good place together somewhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are there no drunk driver checkpoints?

RIP father and son.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another typical example of police negligence IMHO.

There are a lot of local and national laws which are not being actively watched by the Japanese police. As the others have said before me, most police wait for a complaint before approaching the lawbreaker. And even then, just a friendly warning is given.

If the cops get strict in their duties, I do believe cases like these would lessen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and this is assuming that the check points would have been of any use. When your this drunk the best case would be to run over the policeman on site and the worst case would be to run over the father and son just before any checkpoint. Unless you have a breath analyser to start the car I can't see how you can stop these acts of stupidity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police here should really be pro-active in the holiday seasons - like in Australia for example. Set up random-breath-testing everywhere. They would catch scores of drunk drivers - and no-doubt save lives. A couple of years ago when I went back for Xmas I was tested at checkpoints twice in 20 minutes in Sydney! Rest in Peace to the poor son and dad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe this should be a harder punishment than "professional negligence" but Japan is still not that strict when alcohol is involved. I feel sorry for the family. What a way to start the year :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem is that probably he have done same short "drunk" trip many times before. And probably many others do the same short "innocent" trips. But only once in a thousand or million times they are "out of luck" and will end with such a horrible end. Something has to be done by everyone - not only the police...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Man has been drinking. This means he was drunk. Man has accident after drinking. This means the accident was caused by him being drunk. No other investigations or details are necessary. Or apparently, those are the only conclusions a small mind can muster.

For all we know he may have been legal to drive just about anywhere else (in other words basically sober), but a combination of darkness, sleepiness, and poorly designed roads and poorly placed or absent road markings (in Japan?!) and slipping on ice (in January?!) might have been what really caused the accident.

Forgive me for not jumping gleefully off the cliff of conclusion like a good little lemming.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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