crime

Man gets 17 yrs for fatally abusing girlfriend's 2 daughters

42 Comments

The Sapporo District Court on Monday sentenced a man to 17 years in prison over the abuse-related deaths of his girlfriend's two daughters.

Atsushi Inami, 33, was accused of killing the girls, aged 3 and 4, through violent behavior at their apartment in Sapporo in September 2006. The girls' mother, 28, was sentenced earlier to four years in prison for abandoning their bodies.

© Sapporo man receives 17-year prison term over deaths of 2 girls

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This guy only gets 17 years for killing 2 girls - apparently life is cheap in Japan! What kind of a Justice system do you have?

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17 years. What a joke. 40 or 50 would have been more justified.

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May he burn in hell.

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17 years? Going by that, Ichihashi should be out in less than 10.

This guy should be punched in the face repeatedly.

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Sentences like these makes me wanna burn alive...Japanese justice is unbelievable...how low and and shameless. Apparently, like Ogie said, Japanese lives are CHEAP!! CHEAP!!This country is sinking faster than I thought. 30,000+ suicides a year and counting!

May those 2 angels rest in peace while their "parents" rot in hell.

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this is starting to become too common lately. I hope I am wrong... I knew I should have not bothered to read it, but I did. Sickening.

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no way! 17 years he should of gotten the death sentence. Japan has to change its ways. We are hearing so many stories about murders here in Japan. it is starting to get scary.

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I'm sure he showed all due contrition and apologized. That seems to be pretty much all it takes to get off the hook in Japan, as long as you're male and Japanese.

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Nowhere in Japanese history did they have any sort of respect for human life. Only after western occupation did they pretend to, and continue to do so while it was economically convenient. With the harsh economic times ahead for Japan, crimes that expose their true feelings for human life will become more evident.

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Poor little girls. The Japanese system still protects the scum bags more than it does punish them. This guy gets 17 years for killing two little girls, and the mother only four for not only letting it happen, but abandoning the bodies!? Meanwhile, a guy smuggling some drugs in his shoe gets more than half of this guy's sentence.

Not nearly harsh enough. Should be life without parole at the very least, or perhaps 17 years PER little girl.

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smithinjapan: Well said. This just makes me sick. These two little girls deserve way more respect than this!! Who knows how long this guy was hurting them? What did the mother do to protect her children? Was she being abused too? If she had reported the abuse, was anything done to stop it? Maybe the police just got him to write a promise that he wouldn't do it again. Disgusting. This guy should be put away for a very long time.

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I will never understand how a mother could allow any man (bf, husband, whatever) to hurt their children, let alone kill them. I'm not a mum, so maybe I'm missing something here, but isn't there something called a maternal instinct?

I guess this is my answer to JT's abortion rights question. Some people clearly don't have what it takes to be a parent.

Rest in peace to the children, they both led a short and probably sad existence.

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smithinjapan: As I agree this guy deserve more, the drug smuggling is not comparable.

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I've said it before, and I will say it again for the newbies to Japan: abusing/killing children is not so serious a crime here - nowhere near as bad as killing an adult - especially a male adult/salaryman.

May the children rest in peace. May this maggot die of cancer in prison.

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Perhaps it is only in Japan where a murder of 2 children is reduced to "abuse" in the headlines...

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I just read an article in the Japan Times. The number of child abuse cases is on the rise. In 2008, there were 42,662 cases of child abuse consultation. (The increase could be due to more public awareness.) In 2008, there was a new child abuse prevention law which allows counselors to enter the home of parents who refuse investigation. However, only 2 homes, where child abuse was suspected, were raided. Despite the law, they are still resistant to using force.

Police investigated 157 cases of child abuse in the first half of this year and took action against 165 people. These numbers seem small compared to all of the cases that are being reported. And I wonder what is meant exactly by 'took action'.

Somewhat surprisingly, it says that over half of the people who commit child abuse are women. They site money problems, poor relationship with husband, isolation and the stress of child-rearing as contributing factors. I was also surprised to read that 70% of mothers with 3-year-old's have used physical punishment.

It sounds to me that families are experiencing a lot of stress & anxiety when it comes to raising their children. There simply has to be more support and education for families and more intervention when child abuse is suspected in the home. It looks as though the government is starting to taking steps but the obviously still need to do a lot more.

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I'm not surprised that child abuse is rising. There is NO support for the parents here nor is there any education on how to raise kids. 17 years? This guy should be fed to insects and eaten alive.

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Deaths within the family in Japan always get very light sentences, I have no idea why.

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I don't know if this could truly be called a family, per se. The article says that they were the girlfriend's children, so these could be her children from a previous relationship. They have done studies which show the likelihood of child abuse rises in situations like this, so I'm not surprised, just saddened. What really appalls me is how the mother not only allowed this man to abuse her kids, but then aided him in disposing of the bodies! What kind of mother could allow that? Was she being abused or did she simply have nowhere to turn? We need to open up shelters for women like this to escape to in Japan! I can't say if it would have made a difference in this case, maybe the woman would have stayed, but if we can prevent one more case like this from happening in the future it is something the government needs to look into. The government is always yapping about children as a precious resource and the falling birthrate, so it's time to put the money where their mouth is and work on actual solutions. There should be no reason for this to happen in a civilized society.

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17 years isn't such a bad sentence for murdering 2 children. I've seen worse back home. Frankly I think the mother deserves more than him for letting him treat her children so badly, I don't care what the situation was for her, there's no excuse. I know there's no real help for families having problems here, but it's like that back home too and I'm sure it's pretty much as bad in most countries. If the nuclear family hadn't been encouraged to disintegrate there would have been her or his parents around to help out when things got rough. Also to point out to this git that his actions were not acceptable.

If only he'd serve every second of his sentence, but he'll probably get out early. It's like that back home too and I'm sick of it. When someone commits an outrageous crime they should serve their entire sentence at the very least.

I approve of tmarie's suggestion of a suitable sentence for him. I'd add that the mother should be treated that way too.

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Why was their no death penalty? Japan does not care about its kids.

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@dammit- I don't know where you're from, but in America they do have shelters for battered women to flee to. The murder of two small children is also something not taken lightly, and it usually receives a life sentence as punishment.

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17 years? Thats lenient. Should have been the rope.

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I've said it before, and I will say it again for the newbies to Japan: abusing/killing children is not so serious a crime here - nowhere near as bad as killing an adult - especially a male adult/salaryman.

Joe salaryman is worth more to the ADD collective than two kids. One produces, the other consumes.

So long as nobody loses face, it's all good.

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**BurakuminDes at 05:23 PM JST - 30th November

I've said it before, and I will say it again for the newbies to Japan: abusing/killing children is not so serious a crime here - nowhere near as bad as killing an adult - especially a male adult/salaryman.

May the children rest in peace. May this maggot die of cancer in prison.** Absolutely!!!

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this is sick, how on earth would one come up with a 17 year sentence as punishment for the lives of 23 children?

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It's been said over and over, but I must concur - too little. I think he should get about the same as the girls.

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tmarie, that is simply not the case that parents have no support here. the health insurance office has classes for new moms and moms can take them again when they have another child. the classes run the gamut from how to deal with pregnancy including emotional and physical issues, birth, and child care. there are many different programs and counseling opportunities available as well thru the office. my bride cooked her first meal at the new moms class; ) she not only learned to cook a meal, use a stove etc. she was also given a primer on nutrition as well. children are provided excellent health benefits for the equivalent of 2 dollars a month at the doctor of your choice. they also schedule reunions for moms that went thru the classes, dinners and other events to help moms out.

The 4 biggest factors in child abuse here are:

the highest cost of living on the planet. we all know how we should be adult, responsible and caring but with the bills piling up and mom and dad both working overtime and trying to hold a family together it is a real chore. tempers get short and people say and do things that they would never have dreamed of with a little less pressure.

the disintegration of the extended family. with family sizes having shrunk over the last two decades, most people do not have siblings to turn to for help. coupled with the large number of people who have moved from smaller towns to the mega cities, mom finds herself with little in the way of family support.

deteriorating economic situations mean more overtime for dad, less time for mutual family support and more pressure for mom to be superwoman....

where support may actually be available from grandma, first kids being born more and more to 30 somethings means that grandma is much older and far less genki than most of our grandmas were when we were born. my grandma was 36 when I was born ; )

all that said, this guy deserves the death penalty. there is nothing worse that systematically abusing the weakest among us. RIP little ones, I can only hope to believe there is something special for those taken so unfairly.

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At least these two precious little angels are now resting in peace, away from this rotten society where a child's live is worth nothing. Kill a salaryman oyaji, like bamboohat mentioned, and get way more time in jail.

I can't believe how people get away with abusing/murdering children here.

It's unbelievable!

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I remember in uni I read about how people take familial crimes less seriously than stranger crimes. Not only are you less likely to repeat the crime, since they are usually "crimes of passion," but since you're not targeting strangers you're considered less dangerous to the general public.

Without knowing what this woman's situation was, I find it difficult to condemn her. I can't imagine that it's very easy to get away from someone to begin with, and getting away with kids in tow may be impossible.

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Good point Monkeyz. The death penalty is usually sought for premediated murder (whoops spelling), and multiple homicide (BUT usually 2 isn't multiple enough). As this case pre-dates the lay-jury system you can only imagines what the jury would have thought. RIP little ones.

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This is not a rotten society.

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this is sick, how on earth would one come up with a 17 year sentence as punishment for the lives of 23 children?

I know it will sound totally ridiculous, but it's because they were girls... And Japan still places the worth of Boys higher than that of girls... They don't say it out right any-more these days, but if you look at the sentencing of these scum-bags that kill kids, you shouldn't be surprised to find that 9 times out of ten, if the gender of the murder victim was a male, then that person who got charged with the crime received a much stiffer sentence. I would speculate, that if these two kids were boys, he would got the death sentence. Actually, I am quite surprised it wasn't a suspended sentence, and it would not surprise me in the least, if he's out running the streets in 3 or 4 years.

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I wonder how Atsushi Inami's parents feel.

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This is Japan, not your home country. 17 years is a long time. Plus it will not be any easy 17 years,

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Somewhat surprisingly, it says that over half of the people who commit child abuse are women.

Why is this surprising?

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memyselfI: Seventeen years IS a long time. But it's not long enough. This awful man killed two innocent children, the older of which was only four years old. He abused them to death. Who knows how much those young children suffered in the days, months, or years leading up to their deaths. The man is a monster, and he should have received a monster's sentence. As it is, he'll probably be out walking the streets again as a free man in five years. And some idiot woman will probably take him in with plans to "fix him" -- because that's what always seems to happen with these jerks -- only to find herself in the same abusive boat. He's scum, and he should be treated as scum.

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I've said it before, and I will say it again for the newbies to Japan: abusing/killing children is not so serious a crime here - nowhere near as bad as killing an adult - especially a male adult/salaryman.

Joe salaryman is worth more to the ADD collective than two kids. One produces, the other consumes. So long as nobody loses face, it's all good.

Every country has its priorities and traditional ways of dealing with those priorities. If the adult salaryman is seen as "more valuable" then that's a decision which filters down to many other aspects of life - including child abuse and murder.

Still though, Japanese parents seem to devote a lot of attention, effort and emotion on their children. You would think that the "value" of a child would have risen over time ... above 8.5 years in jail per child brutally murdered. Perhaps the legal code will eventually catch-up with the popular culture.

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Based on the average "long" sentence given to anyone in Japan for murder, he got nearly twice the standard term. So, yes, in the eyes of the Japanese, he got what he deserved.

While some have pointed out that historically, the Japanese legal system is based on German, French and US laws, and most of the most recent laws are based on US laws, you have to remember that Japan is another society, culture, etc. They have taken 3 outside legal systems and melded them together as one to work with their society.

As for the death penalty, what the Japanese has done is just about all but rule out ever using the death penalty, and instead, under the Western laws influences, have come up with their own scale and measure for meting out punishment.

Trying to avoid the older "eye for an eye" type tactics have lead to a Japan that stands above other countries in the "civilized" handling of many cases that would in the past have drawn immediate death penalties. I think in many ways the lack of death penalties in Japan, and the more willingness to use some of the more human sides of "why" things were done is actually much closer to meting out true Justice than blindly saying "kill then all".

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flatearther at 06:48 PM JST - 30th November @dammit- I don't know where you're from, but in America they do have shelters for battered women to flee to. The murder of two small children is also something not taken lightly, and it usually receives a life sentence as punishment.

I'm from the UK, where they also have shelters for battered women and their children to flee to. Surprisingly, it's not uncommon for the abusers to follow them and continue the abuse, even murdering them, despite the shelter. More often than not that's the woman's fault. They often give out their new address to the abuser, or failing that they give the address to friends without explaining first that disclosure of the new address to anyone else on the planet could result in the abuser murdering them or the kids.

And yes, such a killer in the UK may well receive a life sentence too. Usually these days a life sentence comes with a minimum term tariff. Often people get a life sentence with a minimum term of 10 years for example. This is why I don't take my home country's shelters or prison terms seriously. You shouldn't take the US's seriously either, I'm sure you have similar problems with abusers finding their victims in shelters, and I know they often let out criminals after serving just a fraction of their sentence. (Look at the man who abducted that child with his wife, imprisoning her in their yard for years and fathering kids on her if you need an example of early release.)

But I don't think I made clear in my previous post that although I feel that 17 years (IF served) would be a fairly respectable term considering the sentences some people get away with, I personally feel people like him should be deleted. Painfully.

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In a crappy Japanese apartment? The neighbors did not hear nor want to get involved? In crappy Japanese apartments, you can HEAR EVERYTHING! You can hear your neighbor snore, burp etc..I can not believe the neighbors did not hear this child abuse going on. May these terrible adults go to hell! The poor little girls RIP!

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He should get the death penalty. The mother should be in prison for life!! She could walk away, she could ask for help, she could go and camp at the police station. She could she could she could. I hope those looking for a way to justify this are never in this situation. I know, without doubt in my mind, that the course of action I would take and the sentence I give would be right. He took their lives with pain and suffering. She let him. RIP little angels.

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