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Parents who chained 8-year-old son inside house get suspended sentences

33 Comments

A 32-year-old man and his 28-year-old wife have received suspended sentences for chaining their 8-year-old son inside their house for 4 1/2 hours in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, last Oct 8.

The Otsu District Court found Yasuna Miyajima guilty of child abuse and sentenced him to two years in prison, suspended for five years, while his Akane was sentenced to two years, suspended for four years, NHK reported Friday.

The court heard how the boy was chained to a column in the livingroom while his parents went out. A friend of the boy had come to visit him at around 4 p.m. He peeked in the window when no one answered the door. He saw the boy chained by the waist to the column and told a neighbor who called police.

Police freed the boy and arrested his parents when they returned home. The boy said he had not been able to go to the toilet and had to use a pot.

The boy had been absent from school for about a week in July and that when he returned, teachers noticed bruises and burns on his arm and notified a child welfare center. Welfare center staff visited the family in July; however, they found nothing out of the ordinary. They visited a second time in August but no one was at home.

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33 Comments
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The boy had bruises and burns but "nothing out of the ordinary" was found? Children might have the occasional bruise, but if there are also burns (plural) it suggests something is wrong.

But the Japanese authorities clearly believe that bruises, burns and being chained to a post are nothing to worry about. Who will take responsibility when this boy is murdered by his parents? It won't be "regrettable", but inexcusable.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

They should just "suspend" these parents...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Broken justice system. I hate to say it, and I hope I am wrong, but this boy's days are numbered. We'll see these people in the news again. I just hope the boy survives.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

No justice at all, family killing and child abuse is grossly overlooked in Japan.

6 ( +6 / -1 )

Parents who chained 8-year-old son inside house get suspended sentences

so they can do it again...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Suspended just means that they will be monitored and at the smallest violation they will go to Jail.

What is the other option put the parents into Jail and the Kid into a children's home/Shelter?

-8 ( +3 / -10 )

May angels protect this unfortunate child from his parents.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It"S ME MAY. 09, 2015 - 05:57PM JST Suspended just means that they will be monitored and at the smallest violation they will go to Jail. What is the other option put the parents into Jail and the Kid into a children's home/Shelter?

Don't you get it, It"S ME? What's in the best interest of the child is of far secondary importance compared to what lets random Internet spectators get all self-righteous about how keenly-honed their sense of justice and offense is. I mean, sure, it could well be that an 8-year old typically is at a stage of development where their entire social world is built around the home such that instantly taking all that away from him could be more traumatizing than the abuse he's already suffered. And sure, you're right that a suspended sentence means that these parents will be under close scrutiny to see that they get fully punished if they don't take this enormous warning to shape-up for what it is...

But forget all that. Because you see it feels good to look down on a justice system you'll never meet. It feels good to pretend you can easily sort right from wrong in complicated cases better than trained legal and child welfare experts. It feels good to declare an entire country to be unjust simply because it hasn't catered to your personal whims. So frankly, screw facts. Screw prudence. Screw the needs of the child. The people are bored and running out of panem et circenses.

-7 ( +2 / -11 )

There is no excuse for child abuse.

4 ( +5 / -0 )

Suspended sentence as usual ... and crime continue as usual too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Welcome to Japan! Next week we'll be reading about how the kid was murdered by his parents, and the police will be scratching their heads and say they had no way of knowing this would happen, and then the parents will get the minimum sentence for that plus the previous sentence that was suspended, and that's all (if even that).

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I truly hate stories like these. Who will save this child, who will stand up for this child? I seriously want to know when the system fails, what future does this child have, what will this child become, and how can those in charge live with themselves?

2 ( +1 / -0 )

Suspended sentence doesnt even mean the parents will be "monitored"! They got off scot-free. No offense to Scotland

1 ( +2 / -0 )

"he boy had been absent from school for about a week in July and that when he returned, teachers noticed bruises and burns on his arm and notified a child welfare center. Welfare center staff visited the family in July; however, they found nothing out of the ordinary." The second time they visited no one was home and that, i guess, settled the natter. The bruises and burns Should have set off alarm bells. Who gave the kid those bruises and burns should have been made an issue with those parents and the welfare center people should have return a third time when the people were home. All this is pretty elementary. So why did it not happen?

The parents who got cushy suspended sentences are not normal. What sort of normal people will chain their kid up? The child should be taken as far away from these people as possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I for one would love to see the Japanese article that this came from, something here sounds seriously fishy. It is incredulous to think that any parents anywhere could get away with something like this. And I mean get away, as their sentence is nothing more than a slap on the wrists.

I feel truly sorry for that boy and pray he gets the help he needs that we dont read about him in 20 years doing the same thing!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So what now? The boy returns home to these losers?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A 32-year-old man and his 28-year-old wife have received suspended sentences for chaining their 8-year-old son inside their house for 4 1/2 hours in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, last Oct 8.

Is the sentence just based on this one incident? Based on the other bruises its obvious they have beaten him, and other Japanese articles indicate they bought the chains a year before and locked him up regularly.

@katsu78

Screw the needs of the child.

I'm not sure what this particular child needs, but it certainly isn't living with the monsters that beat him, burned him, and chained him up.

@Yubaru

I for one would love to see the Japanese article that this came from, something here sounds seriously fishy. It is incredulous to think that any parents anywhere could get away with something like this. And I mean get away, as their sentence is nothing more than a slap on the wrists.

Well if its just a translation than the article it came from probably doesn't have any more information, but one Japanese article I read gave me the impression the parents had some really scummy defense lawyers that helped them weasel their way out of a heavier sentence. It seems they tried to claim the punishment was justified because the child "agreed" to it, when in reality he was forced to agree to it to avoid even worse punishment. Also the kid supposedly hid a copy of the key nearby him, and therefore they can't deny the possibility that he freed himself while his parents were out. Which sounds like total rubbish since his friend found him locked up while his parents were out. Very fishy indeed.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@therougouMAY. 10, 2015 - 12:37AM JST

Well if its just a translation than the article it came from probably doesn't have any more information, but one Japanese article I read gave me the impression the parents had some really scummy defense lawyers that helped them weasel their way out of a heavier sentence.

That's what defense lawyers are supposed to do all over the world - come up with angles and excuses and statements on the very edge of perjury to get their clients off. Or do you prefer that kind that just accepts the prosecutor's statement and tells their defendant to apologize nicely in court?

I'm not sure what this particular child needs, but it certainly isn't living with the monsters that beat him, burned him, and chained him up.

Here's the funny thing. Just 100 years ago, parents and schools that do a certain amount of corporal punishment are basically the norm worldwide. While times have changed obviously, it is true that most people that were brought up in the old system, are as far as observable not permanently damaged. So katsu78 does have a point - while child abuse may be damaging, so's taking the parents away.

And on the scales of a justice system that gave a suspended sentence to a teacher who got one of his students killed, it would be inconsistent to not at least try a suspended sentence here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

while child abuse may be damaging, so's taking the parents away.

Better to be away from abusive parents than dead.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ katsu - " It feels good to pretend you can easily sort right from wrong in complicated cases" You must not be talking about this case, because I'm pretty sure beating, burning, and imprisoning a child is wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

sensei258 MAY. 10, 2015 - 06:46AM JST @ katsu - " It feels good to pretend you can easily sort right from wrong in complicated cases" You must not be talking about this case, because I'm pretty sure beating, burning, and imprisoning a child is wrong.

Of course it is, and someone would have to approach this conversation with utter and complete deception to pretend anyone in this thread has suggested otherwise. What is in question is right or wrong way to respond to the parents' alleged abuse.

In a country with a robust foster system where we could be reasonably certain that the child would quickly find loving and supportive foster parents who treat the child as one of their own, I would love to see the child temporarily removed from the family in order for the authorities to properly investigate, working towards a more permanent fosterage in the future if the authorities can find evidence that his bruises and burns were actually caused by the parents. But Japan is not such a society, and it's not entirely certain the child will get what he needs even if he's taken out of the family. So for rational people, the best thing to do is move carefully. It's complicated.

But no, apparently now the JT peanut gallery has not only concluded that it's a sure thing the parents caused the bruises and burns through abuse, but that it's inevitable that the child will be killed if left with the family. Who needs careful investigations when you can just decide whatever makes you feel best about yourself must be what happened?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I can see the reasoning behind a suspended sentence. Breaking up a family and putting both parents in jail is probably just as hard on the kid as the abuse he has already received. Unfortunately though, their sentence will only include bi-annual visits and no counselling on correct parenting practices. I have no doubt this kid will be subject to more abuse at the hands of these so-called 'parents'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A suspended sentence for child cruelty, physical and mental abuse? This isn't justice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately, the boy was born to such maltreating parents. Hope he'll manage his own survival along the way. Hang in there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would want to know the entire story of this family before I got all indignant and judgmental.

He may not have been off with foster care or distant relatives....if they decided it was better to keep the family intact there probably was a reason

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It sounds from the Japanese articles I read that the mother was sorry and wanted to keep living with the son, while the father kept lying and making ridiculous excuses. The father claimed that the boy wanted to be tied up, while the mother admitted the boy only cried "tie me up" to avoid getting into even more trouble. So it seems that the mother's remorse left an impression in the courtroom and maybe have led to a lighter sentence. Of course I wasn't there though, just going by the articles. Judging by the father's attitude, unless he gets kicked out of the house I can't see anything but the abuse being repeated over and over again. Not sure about the mother.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@therougau: In the city I live in USA, there is a SAFE House shelter that protect mothers and children from abusive husbands. Also Child Protection shelter. And the official who neglect to notify bruise etc is prosecuted. Before child get crippled or dead, the family court and city tries to protect. But this is not norm in USA

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is the other option put the parents into Jail and the Kid into a children's home/Shelter?

EXACTLY WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN. Child abusers should be jailed, their employment(s) terminated, and their child taken away and place in the care of someone who won't chain them to a post simply because they want to "go out" without the child. I can't believe you actually are suggesting the best thing for a child is to be once again placed under the "care" of child abusers! Are you sure you don't work as a judge in the Japanese (in)Justice System?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree with Fadomor. This kind of parents, they must be angry to this child --- for the child caused legal problem. Instead of regretting what they did, they might increase abusing. Keep away from this kind of parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Katsu78 and Kazuki-

While I agree that most people on JT set out to be judge and jury simply based on incomplete news articles, you can't truly believe that this was the right sentencing. Your head in the sand arguments that sentencing is the best is ridiculous. Yes, the child would be better if separated from the parents until they can show a reasonable aptitude for raising said child. This isn't a case of a heavy spanking with a belt or a stern slap across the face, they chained up a child and left for over four hours. What if there had been a fire or an earthquake (I know highly unlikely but still possibilities), what could the child have done? Clearly thee parents are not fit for raising a child. The Japanese justice system relies heavily on the idea that shame will put wrong doers back on the right path. This is a a grossly outdated concept. Especially coming from the 30 and under generation. I very much doubt that this sentencing will affect the parents in a positive way. If anything, they will simply learn to be more secretive about their abuse so as to not get into trouble again. I understand arguing against quick judgements from untrained peers, but this is not difficult to comprehend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet we will be reading more about this family soon. Minus one son.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I sort of grew up like that. Parents can be evil. I hope the best care is taken of the child and mother. Please. They need it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@kazuaki Here's the funny thing. Just 100 years ago, parents and schools that do a certain amount of corporal punishment are basically the norm worldwide

===============================================================

There were many countries which had no schools in the world 100 years ago. Dource of your claim please.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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