crime

Nursery school teacher who forced boy to eat wasabi-laced chicken gets suspended sentence

84 Comments

A 28-year-old nursery school teacher who forced a 4-year-old boy to eat fried chicken covered with wasabi and recorded it on her smartphone, has received a suspended sentence from the Tokyo District Court.

The defendant, Manami Nanmoku, was arrested on assault charges after it was learned she forcefully shoved a piece of bite-sized chicken covered in wasabi inside the boy’s mouth. She recorded the incident on her smartphone and can be heard telling the boy she will hit him if he spits the food out, Fuji TV reported Tuesday.

The court handed her a one-year prison sentence, suspended for three years.

According to the ruling, the incident occurred last year, on Sept 22, at around 8:30 a.m., at an unlicensed nursery called “Childcare Room, Kid’s Style Akabane Park,” located in Tokyo’s Kita Ward.

Presiding Judge Ryo Terao said: "Despite being in a position where one is supposed to nurture and take care of infants, the defendant assaulted a powerless victim." However, the judge said the court took into consideration that Nanmoku was stressed from working long hours.

In January, Nanmoku was accused of abusing another child in her care by tying the wrists of a 6-year-old boy, putting adhesive tape over his mouth and then ripping it off suddenly.

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However, the judge said the court took into consideration that Nanmoku was stressed from working long hours.

Is this really an excuse for abusing children in her care? Unbelievable! The parents of these kids must be apauled!

Let's hope she is blacklisted and never works with children again!

24 ( +26 / -3 )

Wow. Stressed from working long hours is enough to slide from this?

Too bad the father (or mother) of the kid won't deliver his own judgement.

Hopefully this will haunt this woman forever online, should anybody think of hiring her or dating her want to do a little research.

7 ( +9 / -3 )

Presiding Judge Ryo Terao said: “Despite being in a position where one is supposed to nurture and take care of infants, the defendant assaulted a powerless victim”

Well done to the parents for reporting it!!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Does this set precedence that working long hours may be used as an excuse to conduct heinous acts? A HUGE portion of Japanese workers work long hours. So can we all just say we were stressed out and get off the hook?

13 ( +14 / -2 )

@CruisinJapan. Excellent point about setting a precedence. @Gaijininfo. It may haunt her for a long time. Type her name in Google images and her face with captions identifying her and crime in at least three different languages pop up. Perhaps we should design and make t-shirts with her face and a logo depicting her crime and sell them. We could use the money from the shirts to fund a daycare center and make sure that she stays in the spotlight so she never gets to work with children again.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Good old Japan. I always love the judges', "Well, it is true that a horrible crime was committed, BUT we must stop short of....... guilty and punishment, yes; but only a slap on the wrist." You see this on ALL levels, be it Japan inc. on trial or horrible women like this one.

No punishment, so she can do it again. What'S more, the judge has paved the way for crimes to become excusable for the overworked.

7 ( +12 / -6 )

Should be fired, banned from working with children....so suprised she never recieved jail time...I just dont get the law here in JP.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Does this set precedence that working long hours may be used as an excuse to conduct heinous acts?

As far as I know, and I have to admit I'm not 100% sure of this, the Japanese legal system isn't bound by precedence.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Nanmoku was stressed from working long hours

Seriously? That isn't an excuse... why is this and being drunk a legal defense in Japan

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why suspend the sentence?

This "teacher" shouldn't be allowed anywhere near children.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Tokyo District Court: Abuse kids with impunity.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Pathetic really just pathetic.....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think in some cases suspended sentences are the right way to go. They are a good deterrent to stop people from reoffending. However, they should never EVER be given to someone who shows a pattern of illegal activity. This is not the first time she has been accused of abusing children. This punishment does not fit the crime. I hope the parents of the little boy go after her in a civil suit for emotional suffering and damages.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

Quite surprised the judge didnt order for her mental state to be assessed by doctors!?

Looks like she has lost her marbles and can't think clearly. Get her checked first. Judges have to see beyond the act itself. No sane human being would do this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

^ Check the judges sanity, whilst they're at it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Tokyo District Court: Abuse kids with impunity.

Well, it's not really impunity. This girl has a record now, as well as having her name all over the internet. She won't be able to find meaningful employment in Japan for the rest of her life.

Some jail time would have been nice. But it's not like she got off scot-free.

5 ( +10 / -4 )

^^ This is only true if unlicensed childcare facilities do background checks. What are the chances that will happen? Plus, the above incident happened in Sept last year. She was still working at the facility in Jan of this year when she >was accused of abusing another child in her care by tying the wrists of a 6-year-old boy, putting adhesive tape over his mouth and then ripping it off suddenly.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if she could find a job at a similar child care facility in no time at all.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Falling birth rate and the kids that are born are in danger from their parents and teachers.

Wow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is only true if unlicensed childcare facilities do background checks. What are the chances that will happen?

Pretty good. But regardless, jail time wouldn't change whether or not a background check is done.

the above incident happened in Sept last year. She was still working at the facility in Jan of this year when she was accused of abusing another child in her care by tying the wrists of a 6-year-old boy, putting adhesive tape over his mouth and then ripping it off suddenly.

I'm not sure what your point is here. She was arrested for the adhesive tape incident in January, and during the investigation, while she was still in jail, they found a video with the wasabi chicken incident. It's not like they knew about one incident and let her keep working until they found the next one.

-1 ( +4 / -4 )

the defendant assaulted a powerless victim.

But I'm not going to do a dang thing about it.

There is something seriously wrong with the "justice" system in this country. She has a history of abusing children in her care, and she STILL goes unpunished.?! I'm sure the "I was stressed from working long hours" excuse will soon rival the popular "I was drunk and don't remember a thing" excuse.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sensei258APR. 27, 2016 - 09:11AM JST the defendant assaulted a powerless victim. But I'm not going to do a dang thing about it.

But she DID get punished. She got a year in jail suspended for 3 years. Now she has a criminal record which is a very big deal as she may not be able to travel to some foreign countries, she may not get a mortgage or bank loan, she may be barred form various jobs, etc. It is a big deal. She did deserve a punishment and she did get one.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

She also spent the past three months in jail.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Pretty good.

What exactly are you basing that opinion on? A company that is already skirting the law will contact the police for a criminal background check on someone? This is pure fantasy. The privacy laws in Japan are way to strict for something like this to happen. Licensed nursery schools can't even get employees. Unlicensed ones are desparate for staff.

But regardless, jail time wouldn't change whether or not a background check is done.

So having her reputation tarnished is punishment enough for abusing two children in your care? Jail time would have at least kept her away from kids for as long as she was incarcarated.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A company that is already skirting the law will contact the police for a criminal background check on someone?

These companies are not skirting the law. 'Unlicensed nursery' is a bad translation. It just means they are not government sponsored/subsidized. They are legal, and still need to follow the law.

And they don't need to contact the police for a background check - a simple google of this girl's name will turn up her crimes from now to forever.

And what company would hire after with a simple google - the moment any parent found out it would kill the school's business. Or even if she managed to get hired, how long until someone does google her name?

So having her reputation tarnished is punishment enough for abusing two children in your care?

I would have preferred jail time myself. But she did just spend three months in jail, and will never be able to find meaningful employment in Japan again. As I said before, it's not like she got off scot-free. And if she gets in any other trouble in the next three years, she'll be locked up for a year on this crime.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Suspended sentence and still allowed to go back to work? :O

2 ( +3 / -1 )

She won't be able to find meaningful employment in Japan for the rest of her life.

that's a bit of a stretch. she could easily apply to change her name, get a hair cut and no one would be the wiser. what's the point of having laws and punishment for breaking laws when people know that they have a good chance of escaping jail time? and you don't know if she spent three months in jail. that's pure speculation on your part. i don't see how a suspended sentence in this case benefits society.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

The nature of suspended sentences in Japan means that in three years time she won't have a criminal. As a matter of course, these sentences are set aside if the offender doesn't recommit a crime during the period of the suspended sentence. Googling someone's name is not a criminal background check.

Just out of interest's sake, why do you think she spent the last three months in jail? Once indictments are filed the accused is able to apply for bail.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

*criminal record

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Keep her away from kids and take away her rights to bear a child. She would be a horrible mother that we would probably see again in the news someday.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Poor child - what a traumatic introduction to school life and learning. The teacher's punishment is simply unbelievable, especially considering this wasn't the first time she abused a small child. Shows how little the authorities care for children's well-being.

4 ( +3 / -0 )

So "stress" is literally the "get out of jail free" card, unbelievable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

take away her rights to bear a child.

I think she should never be hired as a person with responsibilities towards the vulnerable, and should received mandatory mental health care. But what is this poster suggesting - enforced sterilisation? Seriously? Don't be ridiculous.

1 ( +4 / -4 )

Jees, she definitely has some problems seeing as this is the 2nd incident of child abuse. I assume she has a short temper or something and definitely shouldn't be in that industry

2 ( +2 / -0 )

she could easily apply to change her name

It's not that easy. It has to go through court proceedings and be approved. There are a list of reasons to change one's name: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%90%8D%E3%81%AE%E5%A4%89%E6%9B%B4%E5%B1%8A (see the section 許可例) and while having the same name as a criminal is on the list, being a criminal is not.

what's the point of having laws and punishment for breaking laws when people know that they have a good chance of escaping jail time?

She didn't escape jail time - she was in police custody for a period of time (see next comment).

you don't know if she spent three months in jail. that's pure speculation on your part.

She was arrested, and six weeks later when the re-arrested her, she was still in jail. You're right, I don't know for sure that she was in jail until now, so I may be wrong on that. I just looked it up and couldn't find out exactly when she was released. But I do know she spent at least those six weeks in jail, and after re-arresting her, I don't see them letting her out.

And finally, for those who have been discussing the 'unlicensed nursery', the difference between the two is listed here: http://contents.en.mamitan.net/basic/?itemid=13

'Licensed' isn't a good translation, as it's not actually a license. In Japanese they are called 認可保育所 (ninka hoikusho - "licensed" nursery) and 無認可保育所 (muninka hoikusho - "unlicenced" nursery). In this case it's not a license as much as it is that the nursery has met a number of standards by the government, and therefore receives subsidies from the government. The unlicensed nurseries cost more money, as they do not receive subsidies. Most people want to put their children in the licensed nurseries, but as we know Japan has a shortage of these, so the unlicensed nurseries are private facilities that people can use instead if they can and want to afford it.

-6 ( +3 / -8 )

Jees, she definitely has some problems seeing as this is the 2nd incident of child abuse. I assume she has a short temper or something and definitely shouldn't be in that industry

I'd bet there were more incidents too. She just got caught for those two.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The takeaway lesson from this to me isnt that the teacher got off lightly (I tend to agree with Strangerlands points, having a criminal record is a serious punishment), but that the human resources at nursery schools in general are obviously being stretched way too thin.

The school in this case was 1) employing somebody who obviously wasnt fit to do the job, 2) overworking that person despite that fact, and 3) not adequately supervising that unqualified, overworked employee so as to ensure that children in her care werent harmed.

The fact that all of these are attributable in part to a lack of money and people worries me, since it seems most nursery schools are operating with a lack of adequate money and people and this problem seems likely to get worse before it gets better. Rather than debating the minutia of whether or not people are getting punished adequately ex post, a discussion of how to prevent these things from happening in the first place (and the argument that locking people up as a deterrent isn`t really an answer since it does nothing to address the above 3 problems).

1 ( +2 / -2 )

@gaijinfoAPR. 27, 2016 - 07:25AM JST

Wow. Stressed from working long hours is enough to slide from this?

Let me write another unpopular comment and vote this as a fair judgment.

First, like it or not, the objective act is not that serious - she forced someone to eat wasabi, which is unpleasant but not dangerous (unless victim is allergic to it or something). If you forced someone to eat wasabi either as a mean joke or in anger, you are in the wrong but you may be justified in thinking it doesn't rate a prison sentence w/ permanent mark. You can add some multipliers for the victim being a kid or other alleged actions (for which I point out she wasn't even indicted), but with a low base value there's only so much one can do.

Second, unless we want to deny that existence known as a "temper", we must admit we are more likely to be violent and aggressive when we are bone-tired and overworked and we also suffer from reduced judgmental ability. And as it is kids can be trying on the temper. It is not an excuse - she's not being let off, but it is a mitigating factor.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Two balanced posts there.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Childcare centers are difficult places to work, by low wages and stressful conditions that result from inadequate staffing and a general lack of resources and training. Job turnover rates among workers are high as a result of the poor conditions, and the quality of care suffers. Children need to make emotional connections with childcare teachers. When the workplace in childcare is so stressful, the turnover rates among personnel become very high, making it difficult for many centers to provide the quality care children need.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First, like it or not, the objective act is not that serious

forcefully shoved a piece of bite-sized chicken covered in wasabi inside the 4 years boy’s mouth if pretty damn serious, he could choke to death, recording the whole event on her smartphone assuming in the purpose to play it back, shows also a tendency to enjoy to watch cruelty. She must not be left alone with any child and she must be monitored by doctors.

Is she back to work to the same place ?

2 ( +1 / -0 )

unlicensed nursery called “Childcare Room, Kid’s Style Akabane Park,”

Anything going to be done about that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is she back to work to the same place ?

No one knows for sure (maybe someone could phone and ask), but it's pretty doubtful. Why would they hire her back? The backlash from parents would be rough.

Anything going to be done about that?

About what?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

First, like it or not, the objective act is not that serious

What? Her original arrest was for taping a boys hands together then taping his eyes and mouth shut with duct tape and then ripping it off. The previous incident was shoving wasabi covered food into a 4 year olds mouth, laughing while video taping it and shouting that she would hit him if he spit it out. Those are serious crimes and could have been deadly for the children.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is not a few reforms but a full revolution which seems necessary in the Japanese justice system and if possible the sooner the better, enough of those 2020's law enactment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those are serious crimes and could have been deadly for the children.

I agree they are serious. But deadly? I don't see that.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Just imagine if it was your kid, what would you be thinking now.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A particularly despicable act made with intent.

Now I'd like to see this carried further to the wider world of education and prosecute some of the teachers / caregivers responsible for causing grievous bodily harm to students in their care - esp in the torrid world of school sports clubs, where broken noses, cheekbones, bruised ribs, swollen ears etc are dealt with a "stern" warning if at all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But deadly?

I guess you've never fed a kid before. They have trouble eating without the wasabi and threats of violence. If duct taping someone's hands together and then duct taping their mouth and eyes isn't dangerous then I don't know what is. Children at these ages are defenseless against adults.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Then why all the fuss ....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a cruel b! They should have made her endure the same punishment every meal for at least a week.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I guess you've never fed a kid before.

Only my two own. But I guess they don't count, right?

If duct taping someone's hands together and then duct taping their mouth and eyes isn't dangerous then I don't know what is.

I didn't claim it wasn't dangerous - the kid probably got hurt from it. But I don't see it as being deadly.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Stranger, the woman could easily get married, change her and name and be hired somewhere else. Why? Because Japan doesn't do background checks very often. I have worked with some kids in both eikaiwa and as an ALT. I have also volunteered with things that included interaction with small kids. Know how many background checks I had? ZERO. And I'm a foreigner. If anyone is going to have a background check done on them, it's someone who is not Japanese.

A suspended sentence for this is a joke. She terrorized at least two small children - because yes, this is all she's be charged with - who may suffer because of this nut bag for years to come. Perhaps a lifetime. Taping up a kids mouth could lead to death. Forcing a child to eat something could lead to chocking.

I feel sorry for the kids and parents. Justice has not been served. If anyone did this to my child and this was the sentence given, I would be enraged. I'm enraged just reading it and reading comment suggesting she7s been given a fair punishment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Stranger, the woman could easily get married, change her and name and be hired somewhere else.

Yeah, that is definitely one way to get around the name change issue.

Know how many background checks I had? ZERO.

How do you know they didn't google your name? It also may be that they don't do it for foreigners and check up on Japanese people. There are too many variables here.

If anyone is going to have a background check done on them, it's someone who is not Japanese.

Or it may be the other way around. Japanese people can use the Japanese internet, and can get more information about a Japanese person in Japanese than they can about a foreigner.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If she were my kid's teacher, I would have her fired, then expose her to the community so everyone knows about her.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And I'm a foreigner. If anyone is going to have a background check done on them, it's someone who is not Japanese.

Since foreigners can`t gain access to this country if they have a criminal record, immigration has already imposed a de facto background check on them. Employers would therefore likely view carrying one out on a foreigner as redundant, no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So a stressed out person is allowed to abuse a defenseless child with impunity. Nice one!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So a stressed out person is allowed to abuse a defenseless child with impunity.

It wasn't impunity. She has a criminal record, spent a period of time in jail, and has her name plastered all over the internet. And if she does anything else illegal in the next three years, she'll be locked up for a year automatically.

-6 ( +1 / -6 )

She was arrested, and six weeks later when the re-arrested her, she was still in jail. You're right, I don't know for sure that she was in jail until now, so I may be wrong on that. I just looked it up and couldn't find out exactly when she was released. But I do know she spent at least those six weeks in jail, and after re-arresting her, I don't see them letting her out.

where are you getting this info that she spent six weeks in jail? there are only reports that she was rearrested at a later date. regardless, she was abused at least two children, even filiming one abuse, and she spent minimal time in jime. how is that justice? and i misspoke earlier, i meant prison because prisons and jails are completely different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

where are you getting this info that she spent six weeks in jail? there are only reports that she was rearrested at a later date.

At the time, everyone was asking how she got out of jail and went back to work. So I dug up a Japanese article that showed she was still in jail and was re-arrested.

she was abused at least two children, even filiming one abuse, and she spent minimal time in jime. how is that justice?

She received a suspended sentence. I agree that it's not strong enough, but regardless, it's still a punishment.

-5 ( +2 / -6 )

22 days from her first arrest to her second arrest. I've checked a few Japanese articles as well and not found anything to indicate she spent those days in jail. After her second arrest she would have been indicted within a few days (possibly even the same day of her second arrest). Since this was obviously considered a minor crime she would have been granted bail or ROR. In three years she'll have no criminal record if she stays clean for the duration of her suspended sentence.

If we are to believe that she was in jail between her arrests she would have spent a total time of under a month. She abused two children and coworkers admitted to investigators that they had seem hit punch and kick other children during her time at the nursery. One month maximum is not a punishment for what she did.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

22 days from her first arrest to her second arrest. I've checked a few Japanese articles as well and not found anything to indicate she spent those days in jail.

I posted an article at the time that showed she was still in jail when the second charge was laid. You can believe that or not, it really doesn't matter to me.

After her second arrest she would have been indicted within a few days (possibly even the same day of her second arrest). Since this was obviously considered a minor crime she would have been granted bail or ROR.

Maybe, but that's just speculation.

If we are to believe that she was in jail between her arrests she would have spent a total time of under a month.

Yeah, I'll take your word for it that it was 22 days. I obviously mis-remembered the amount of time.

She abused two children and coworkers admitted to investigators that they had seem hit punch and kick other children during her time at the nursery. One month maximum is not a punishment for what she did.

It's punishment, just not enough.

-7 ( +1 / -7 )

Parents need to sue the teacher.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have worked with some kids in both eikaiwa and as an ALT. I have also volunteered with things that included interaction with small kids. Know how many background checks I had? ZERO. And I'm a foreigner.

Your experiences mirror mine exactly.

How do you know they didn't google your name?

In most cases, there would've been no point in googling my name because they didn't know (or ask for) my last name!

This situation has a lot do with the dispatch system, in which the nurseries, schools, or eikaiwas trust the agencies to send trustworthy workers to them, little suspecting that the agencies take an "any warm body" approach.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, I'll take your word for it that it was 22 days. I obviously mis-remembered the amount of time.

Yes, you obviously did. Jan 27-Feb18 is 22 days. The amount of time between her two arrests.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, you obviously did. Jan 27-Feb18 is 22 days. The amount of time between her two arrests.

Yes, as I said: "I obviously mis-remembered the amount of time."

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

surprised she didn't put it on social media for us all to "have a laugh"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tmarie

Taping up a kids mouth could lead to death. Forcing a child to eat something could lead to chocking.

None of which happened. In fact, they weren't even hospitalized which by jurisprudence is the dividing line between Assault and Injury, so the only charge that can legitimately be laid is Assault. The max for that is two years. And considering that it has to accomodate anything sub-hospitalization, wasabi and tape are on the lower half of the scale. Only the fact kids are involved even made this a court case at all.

The law cannot get overexcited just because the word "kid" entered the fray.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Only the fact kids are involved even made this a court case at all.

I wonder about that. If it had been a case against an elderly day care centre worker?

4 ( +3 / -0 )

Kazuaki Shimaki: didn't you, on another thread, once talk about how kids need to be toughened up in a talk about corporal punishment and about being forced to engage in athletics that have been proven to cause broken bones and nerve damage, like kumi taisou?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The parents of the boy are probably not as vindictive as some would suggest they be by starting a civil law suit. The incident happened more than 6 months ago and I imagine they now want to concentrate on helping their son to forgive and forget. What the young woman did is very wrong but the child, nor the parents themselves will find satisfaction and peace of mind by legal action or showing spite. Sometimes it's better to let things go and concentrate on the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She needs mental care, maybe she has to live in institution. Otherwise she'll make other victims. What she did is so sick that I don't buy the "stress story". She is probably a psychopath. If she can't get near kids, she'll torture cats or bachans.

the dispatch system, in which the nurseries, schools, or eikaiwas trust the agencies to send trustworthy workers to them,

Most jukus and eikawas don't trust at all. Some have learned the hard way (there are abundant gossips of cases of abuse by teachers and of false accusations from crazy customers, half are true stories). They don't tell necessarily it to their teaching staff, but they take lots of steps to avoid incidents. The managers often insist on having all rooms with window doors/walls, or no doors and never let one adult alone with the kids or even adults. Standard schools are more lax because of the tradition similar to that of Catholic church : "Sensei/Father is always right" and cover up culture. That has changed in some places (in Osaka, after the stabbing, they have become very careful). In the case of kindergartens, there is the problem that little kids are not always able to report realistically what happened to them.

Know how many background checks I had? ZERO. And I'm a foreigner. Your experiences mirror mine exactly.

You are overstayers ? Eikaiwas don't need to do criminal record checks. The Immigration usually does it for them. You are "registered" for a reason. Even the police may inform the schools about their foreign employees' speed tickets and such (seen it happen).

they didn't know (or ask for) my last name!

You worked for weird people. Legal businesses need your gaijin number for the compulsory formalities. .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just imagine if it was your kid, what would you be thinking now.....

For me, easy. I would be furious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've sympathy both for abused kids and abused workers. Overwork is a serious problem. Not everyone can handle long hours nor is it healthy physically or mentally. People who take care of kids, drive trains, work in offices (etc.) should have mandated vacations and weekends - by law. The individual probably got her punishment already. She may not, though, have received proper counseling. She did terrible things and it's hard to say what's wrong with her but she probably shouldn't be around kids again. The victim here may be traumatized to some degree. The un-prosecuted allegation seems even more serious and traumatic for that victim. I can't help but think that abuse and bullying are factored into Japanese institutions and way of life.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

However, they should never EVER be given to someone who shows a pattern of illegal activity. This is not the first time she has been accused of abusing children.

True, but the other occurrence happened after this one and wouldn't be admissible in this trial. If they take her to court over the other time, however, then this case can be used to show a pattern.

Plus, the above incident happened in Sept last year. She was still working at the facility in Jan of this year when she was accused of abusing another child in her care by tying the wrists of a 6-year-old boy, putting adhesive tape over his mouth and then ripping it off suddenly.

As I recall the sequence, the police didn't know about the September incident until they were investigating the January incident and discovered the video on the suspect's phone. So nobody knew what she had done back in September until this January. That's why she was still employed in January.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Second, unless we want to deny that existence known as a "temper", we must admit we are more likely to be violent and aggressive when we are bone-tired and overworked and we also suffer from reduced judgmental ability. And as it is kids can be trying on the temper. It is not an excuse - she's not being let off, but it is a mitigating factor.

Excellent post. Key here is that the overworking was mitigating factor. I wonder whether people know what happens to defendants (what is required of them) that gets a suspended sentence? Here's a clue: they're not off Scott free!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

restorative justice, in some cases, is a better alternative both for victims and perpetrators

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yumster100 APR. 27, 2016 - 11:38PM JSTKey here is that the overworking was mitigating factor.

But until the J-government addresses this serious problem of recruitment and retention, any plans to create child care spaces will not succeed. You still need to staff the spaces. And the inability to find substitutes means what few staff there are do not take their vacation days or sick days, leading to overwork and burnout.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Eikaiwas don't need to do criminal record checks. The Immigration usually does it for them.

Don't count on it. One nursery school I worked for hired teenagers from a local international school, who were technically minors when they arrived in Japan and wouldn't have been subject to any checks at all.

You worked for weird people.

I sure did.

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@sfjp

Yes and no. The need to create child care facilities, etc. is a valid point and the government needs to address it but that is different than what many of the posters are assuming regarding the "audacity" of this defendant receiving a suspended sentence. The result of this case would not be far different were it to be held in the US that warrants such comments such as the J judicial system is unjustified compared to other countries and needs a complete overhaul. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most on here has no clue as to how the judiciary system works aside from an occasional traffic ticket dispute. If they have some knowledge, I haven't read a single comment from the usual posters of a well thought out analysis of why the J judiciary is outrageous (especially since the facts of the cases in news articles are just too vague). I'm willing to bet that the usual posters have no clue. Now, if it was just an emotional outburst, then I can understand. But, when they become a charlatan and start comparing other countries' judiciary system, that requires professional knowledge...which I can tell by their comments that they lack in even the most fundamental/rudimentary basics of the legal procedures. Sorry if this post was long but again, I do agree with you that the government will need to create child facilities but that issue is different than what I brought up.

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Yumster100 APR. 28, 2016 - 08:50AM JST The result of this case would not be far different were it to be held in the US that warrants such comments such as the J judicial system is unjustified compared to other countries and needs a complete overhaul.

Compare to U.S., the definition of child abuse is quite loose in Japan. There have been numerous other examples of incompetence within the Japanese legal system.

One reason of the questionable Japanese legal practices may be the ratio of lawyers to people. There are over 4,500 people per lawyer in Japan, compared with the U.S. of 300. This burdening ratio, has apparently left some prosecutors feeling they have little choice but to engage in things like evidence tampering and coercion of false confessions to maintain high conviction rates. All this gives the feeling that the Japanese legal system is less concerned with justice than it is with saving face.

There have been some efforts at reform, including a recent shift to a jury-like system called saiban-in. But unlike the U.S. system, where the jury has the final say, barring certain circumstances, the current system turns the final verdict into a collaboration between the judge and lay persons. At least one judge still needs to agree with the verdict of the lay persons in order for the verdict to stand, meaning judges still have a significant say in the outcome of cases. As a result, the Japanese system is quite different from trial by jury in common law jurisdictions, and it’s probably not accurate to refer to saiban-in as a jury system at all.

A lot of the problems can be summarized by the fact that Japan maintains a civil law as opposed to common law legal system. Under the civil law system, it isn't unusual for public prosecutors to wield significant investigative power in addition to their powers of prosecution, thereby making things like evidence tampering possible. So, is it simply unfair to try to directly compare the Japanese legal system with systems elsewhere? Maybe. But this still doesn't change the fact that there are serious issues that need to be tackled.

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So, is it simply unfair to try to directly compare the Japanese legal system with systems elsewhere? Maybe. But this still doesn't change the fact that there are serious issues that need to be tackled.

I would say that if you're planning on doing a comparative analysis between the two systems. It would require to have knowledge of what you're comparing, no? I mean, that should be the first thing on the readers mind. For example, you provided an example of the ratio between lawyers to people and hypothesised that the burden results in the prosecutors to "engage in things like evidence tampering and coercion of false confessions to maintain a high conviction rate." First, there was a study by academics regarding the high conviction rate and possible reasons for it but did not list your reasoning as one of them. You could be right but at least they conducted a research backed with data whereas yours is conjecture (unless you do have data to backup your claim). Again, you could be right or wrong, just like the academics. Second, in the US, most public defenders are overburdened with cases and most criminal cases are significantly handled by these attorneys. John Oliver did a small segment regarding this and the level of cases they handle will make you wonder whether "justice" was served. One thing can be certain and I will repeat my point: many posters on here have no clue as to how the Justice system works and for them to post comments that reflects this is shooting themselves in the foot. A knee jerk reaction without critical thinking. Your comment is well written and shows intelligence but you are not addressing my issue: that mitigating factors as well as past criminal convictions, the degree of seriousness of the crime, the severity of the victim's harm, the max sentence allowed, etc all comes into play. Based on this, a suspended sentence is not so absurd to make comments I read from the usual posters, who most likely have no clue as to how the system works. Unless they provide how a suspended sentence will not have been given in their country (and not providing some news article of some case that the suspect got jail term), I'm interested in how that country operates their legal system. It's always interesting since it has a lot to due with societal issues and it's policies.

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Back on topic please. Other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

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I get stressed out with some of the KY drunk GGs i have to deal with in here. Can i force feed them stuff and get some lenience when i declare im stress from work.... Pathetic on lots of levels.

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