crime

Missing 4-year-old girl turns up safe; 21-year-old hostess arrested

45 Comments

A 4-year-old girl who went missing in Okayama City has been found safe and well, police said Wednesday. A 21-year-old hostess has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping the girl.

According to TV Asahi, the girl's mother realized her daughter was missing after returning home in the early hours of Tuesday morning and contacted the police. One of the woman's acquaintances, a hostess named Sakiko Nakagawa, is believed to have noticed the girl walking along the street at around 4 a.m., apparently looking for her mother. She allegedly picked the girl up in her car and drove her home without contacting the girl's mother.

One of Nakagawa's neighbors saw a news report about the missing girl and reported her whereabouts to the police. Police visited Nakagawa's apartment sometime after 11:00 p.m. and found Nakagawa and the missing girl safe and well. According to police, Nakagawa has confirmed that she took the girl home without her mother's permission.

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45 Comments
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Very strange story. Many unanswered questions. Glad the girl's OK.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very strange story. Many unanswered questions. Glad the girl's OK.

agreed. 'unanswered questions' is an early morning homework from JT, asking readers to search other websites and report correct answers here.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Poor kid, she has an uphill battle from the start with this kind of start in life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is what can easily result when a country provides little or no support to single mothers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why can't we have a law banning single mothers from working until the child is of school age? Also laws that the child must always be supervised. I am prepared to put my hand in my pocket and pay taxes so women like this can stay at home and bring up their children safely with sufficient monies to provide suitably. There should also be mor epowers for social services, and where was the father?

-10 ( +1 / -10 )

So, why wasn't the mother arrested for leaving a four-year-old home alone? Because it is not illegal in Japan. It is normal!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I don't see this as a kidnapping case. Just a case of an ignorant young girl oblivious of the serious of the situation. A 4 year girl walking outside at 4am in the morning? I would have probably taken her home too, but then I would call the police.

Why can't we have a law banning single mothers from working until the child is of school age? Also laws that the child must always be supervised. I am prepared to put my hand in my pocket and pay taxes so women like this can stay at home and bring up their children safely with sufficient monies to provide suitably. There should also be mor epowers for social services, and where was the father?

There would be so many problems if such system was in place. I think it would encourage women to have children out of wedlock. But I do agree that all small children should require adult supervision until the age of 10 or 12 while a single parent is at work.

Final thought: 4AM??? WTF? Where the hell was the mother?? Probably another irresponsible teen pregnancy....sigh

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why can't we have a law banning single mothers from working until the child is of school age?

How do you know she was working? It just says she was out until the early hours. She could just as easily have been out partying and leaving the little one to fend for herself. Regardless of what she was doing, she wasnt there, and thank god the little girl is OK.

I dont think paying single mothers to stay home is the answer - look at the mess in the UK as a result of this policy. I think making families step up is a better idea. Make the father pay, regardless of whether they are living together or not. If they cant support themselves, make the fathers family pay, AND the mothers family. You raise a girl that gets pregnant at 16 - take responsibility for it instead of making it a burden on the state and ergo on decent people who work hard for a living and dont expect something for nothing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Stay on topic please.

Regarding support for single mothers: Japan actually offers quite a number of services / financial support for single moms. Far exceeding America, for example. Problem is, you have to be quite motivated to jump through the bureaucratic hurdles required to get it. A fair few women who are (let's face it) dumb enough to get knocked up on a first date do not have the motivation and/or the kanji ability to do it (a lot of Japanese are effectively illiterate). However, those that do find many programs are available: work skills training, education (for child and parent) rent assistance, free daycare. But you do have to work for it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I see the young hostess as a do-gooder who just happened to neglect telling the mother that her daughter is safe and sound with her.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One of the woman’s acquaintances, a hostess named Sakiko Nakagawa, is believed to have noticed the girl walking along the street at around 4 a.m., apparently looking for her mother.

I guess the old adage: "it takes one to know one applies here." However, I will give the mom the benefit of the doubt and hope that she was working at a convenience store or some other late night job and not necessarily a hostess.

One of Nakagawa’s neighbors saw a news report about the missing girl and reported her whereabouts to the police.

This phrase is a little tricky. Did Nakagawa ask her neighbors if she knew of a missing girl, or was her neighbor just really that snoopy. I mean, I can barely get my neighbors to speak to me, let alone I doubt if they know if any kids were in my home. I guess they must have either been asked by here if they knew someone was missing, or they themselves were up that early to see her bring the child home. Need a little clarification on this one.

Where's the father in all of this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On a seriously note, I agree with Nicki, if a single mother can't afford to raise a child, then the responsibility should go to father, father's family, and mother's family in that order.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Shouldn't the hostess actually be praised for taking the girl in? Doesn't seem like the mom was doing a good job of looking after her!!

Honestly, the child car laws here need to be changed.

And JT needs to start giving more info!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don´t get it either. Where is the "kidnapping"? Is it preferable to let a 4-year old wander the streets alone? Assuming the story as told is true, the only thing the hostess is guilty of is not calling the cops immediately.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

4am in the morning a little ine out on the street at that time. Who was supposed to be caring for her, surely not home alone at that age.Wasnt the little one lucky to have been brought to a place of safety albeit the hostess should have contacted iether the police or the parent a,s,a,p. Whether or not it was a kidnapping remains to be seen

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Glad to see a story where the child turns up safe for a change.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting culture differences... In the states, Nakagawa Sakiko would be the good Samaritan. She sees a young girl she recognizes as the daughter of a friend. Instead of trying to wake up the little girl's household at 4 a.m., she simply takes the girl to her house. The girl's mother or both the mother and the father would be charged or under investigation. Here, the good Samaritan is treated like dirt and the mother/parents aren't questioned.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Has the mother been prosecuted for child neglect?

R,ssss backward all the time is Japan. Charge the good samaritan neighbour but bnot the negligent parent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

DenTok: VERY good point!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I see the young hostess as a do-gooder who just happened to neglect telling the mother that her daughter is safe and sound with her.

Yes, maybe - maybe - neglecting to inform the mother for a while to give her a damned good fright and shake some sense into her. This was the mother's friend. Maybe she knows the mother has a track record of neglecting her daughter. And the child could quite possibly know this other woman and therefore might not have been worried.

But this report has the JT characteristic of not having enough detail, which in turn leads us to speculate and results in many more posts and visits to the site, which bumps up the figures for advertisers...or maybe I'm having a cynical morning.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I see the young hostess as a do-gooder who just happened to neglect telling the mother that her daughter is safe

Sure. IF her story holds water.

But the investigating officers may have reason to believe that her story about finding the girl wander outside doesn't match with what they neighbors saw, etc.. Who knows at this point.

I see now that hatsoff has also addressed this. We just don't know. Too soon to be reaching for either a hangman's noose or a medal to put round this young lady's neck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

typical stupidity one would expect from a hostess

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Indeed, very strange. The Asahi article in Japanese doesn't mention anything about Ms Nakagawa being an acquaintance of the child's mother, so I wonder if the details in this article are wrong?

Japanese reports say Ms Nakagawa didn't take the girl to the police because she has a child who she cannot meet and was lonely, so didn't want to give Yuaru-chan back.

This is not just a case of a Good Samaritan getting a raw deal. The child was not harmed physically in any way, but that does not excuse her actions.

Although Ms Nakagawa's actions are strange to say the least, I worry more about the actual mother of the child. Reports say she is a single mother with 3 children, Yuaru-chan being the oldest. How could any mother in her right mind leave her 3 toddlers - for up to 6 hours by themselves?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese reports say Ms Nakagawa didn't take the girl to the police because she has a child who she cannot meet and was lonely, so didn't want to give Yuaru-chan back.

Actually, I should correct this. Her original statement was "Yuaru-chan didn't want to go to the police", but after further questioning, using God-knows what sort of interrogation techniques, she broke down and told the story of her own daughter who she cannot meet and how she wanted to keep the girl.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good thing it was not a man or he would have had zero support from the start.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Mirai Hayashi

Final thought: 4AM??? WTF? Where the hell was the mother?? Probably another irresponsible teen pregnancy....sigh

From what I am lead to understand, at certain times of the year, the sun rises at like, 3am. And from my own personal experience with the sun coming up at 5am during my honeymoon there, it's not hard to believe.

They don't have day light savings time, to my knowledge.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would much rather hear of what kinda action the police are taking against the mother. A 21 year old leaving a 4 year old at home...alone, until the wee hours of the morning?? The friend could have been acting out of the kindness of her heart in taking the girl to her home. Was she trying to contact the mother but was unable too? Alot of unanswered questions on this one. The mom definitely needs to find a new line of work that will not keep her out until 4AM. Feel sorry for the little girl...to have to spend so much time at home alone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only good thing outta this story is the little girl is OK. So many mistakes made by all parties involved. Lets just hope that the mother has taken a valuable lesson outta this....and the hostess that took the girl also. Hope she was only trying to provide protection for the girl, not actually kidnap her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems like the hostess was taking better care of the child. What kind of parent leaves a child unattended in such a way that they can leave the house and roam the streets. I hope this teaches the mother a lesson. Good thing the girl is OK.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why was the woman arrested? A 4 year old is walking around on the streets w/her mom gone at 4AM, a friend of the mom who knows the girl picks up the child and takes her to her house where at least the child is not left alone like if she were taken back to her house & the child is safe. How can she return the child to the mom when the mom`s not at home but probably out with some man. These woman sound like prostitutes to me to be out at 4AM. Anyway, the friend could have taken the child to the police and got the mom in trouble but instead she helped the mom and child out and she ends up arrested. This is horrible injustice.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Did the mother keep 4-years-old girl alone in the house until 4am? Poor girl... Can't the mother get another job to go home earlier?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

typical stupidity one would expect from a hostess

Erm...thats a little uncalled for. Ive never been a hostess myself but know women who have. One friend was doing it because she was from a poor family and was putting herself through law school at Keio university - so hardly stupid.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Draconalis

The sun doesn't rise at 3am in Okayama...not even 4AM (at least not this late in the summer)...and even it were light outside...let's 6am, 7am....or 4pm for that matter, since when it okay to let a 4 year wander the streets alone??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I am glad that the little girl is sound and safe. I hope Nakagawa has some good reasons for not contacting the police asap. Also, the mother should be questioned.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Children should stop being seen as the parents property and seen as individuals with rights. Right to be cared for , clothed, fed and everything esle a young child should need. The mother should be prosecuted for neglect, not sure about the other woman as there is not so much info about why she acted in that manner. Give the child more rights and make parents more responsible. We must stop child neglect and abuse now.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm not sure what's going through the heads of people who can't understand why this woman was arrested. It's blatantly obvious, and quite right too. Even assuming that everything she is reported to have said is correct, she found a 4-year-old in the streets at 4am then took her home and kept her FOR 19 HOURS. Is there a single person out there who considers this to be normal behaviour? Is there a single person here who - even if they knew the child or mother - wouldn't have either taken her home within a reasonable period of time, or informed the police?

The mother may or may not be a hopeless excuse for a parent but give me a break - 19 HOURS.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I was going to go the "good samaritan" route with this until I read the article more closely. The woman was found with the child by police sometime after 11 PM. That means she had the child for almost a full day. Surely she could have contacted the mother or the police by then.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I would hope that JT would give follow-ups on stories like these. There are so many loose ends here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the woman’s acquaintances, a hostess named Sakiko Nakagawa, is believed to have noticed the girl walking along the street at around 4 a.m., apparently looking for her mother. She allegedly picked the girl up in her car and drove her home without contacting the girl’s mother Wow, this sounds like something out of the new tv show DON QUIXOTE on Nihon TV, how can these women who can not even take care of themselves bring children into this world! This little girl is so lucky she was not hit by a car, or picked up by some evil perverted men etc...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One of the woman’s acquaintances, a hostess named Sakiko Nakagawa, is believed to have noticed the girl walking along the street at around 4 a.m., apparently looking for her mother. She allegedly picked the girl up in her car and drove her home without contacting the girl's mother

Sounds like she (the hostess) feared for the girl's safety. It sounds like they arrested the wrong person.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where was the mother? Why the hell was the kid left alone in the first place?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hmm strange lots of doubt abt parents ??? lucky she is safe thanks GOD ! sometimes stranger is the one u can trust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mother should have been arrested for child neglect. Friend should have contacted the mother ASAP if she knew where the mother worked or leave a note etc... Taking the kid and keeping the kid for over 12hrs not telling anyone is WRONG on her part too. Irresponsible as an adult to say the least for both of them. Also, I read somewhere above that Japan policy allows kids to be left at home. Not sure if that is all true but if so, then the authorities should not arrest any person who leaves their kids at home alone and the kid dies due to some accident because of no supervision...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also read somewhere about "if a single mother can't afford to raise a child, then the responsibility should go to father, father's family, and mother's family in that order". I do agree the responsibilites should go to the father but I disagree about the family portion. "Normally" It takes two to make a baby not the whole family. Family did not marry her, the father did...It should be his sole responsibilities to MAN up to his duties....which would probably fall under education and his parental supervision and the enviorment he was raised in...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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