crime

Woman gets suspended sentence for killing mentally disabled son

27 Comments

The Kyoto District Court has sentenced a 54-year-old woman to three years, suspended for five years, for killing her 17-year-old mentally disabled son at their apartment last year.

According to the court ruling, Ayano Sakayama used a belt to strangle her son Ryu, who had been attending a school for special needs students, while he was asleep on July 16, 2020, Sankei Shimbun reported. The two lived alone.

The next morning, a relative came to visit them at around 10:15 a.m. and found the body of the boy. At 10:50 a.m., Sakayama was seen on the edge of the roof of a nearby apartment building. However, police were able to talk her out of jumping. Police said there was a knife wound in Sakayama’s neck.

Sakayama told the court she was worn out from looking after her son.

The court also heard that Sakayama had been unable to find a facility that would take her son and that she concerned for his future.

Local media reported that in February 2019, Sakayama had consulted with police about her son’s violent behavior toward her at times.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
Login to comment

I WANT my taxes to go to helping families like these that need assistance. She reported violence to the police and was rejected for assistance and a space for her kid.

Politicians don't seem to lack resources for paying themselves a monthly 1,000,000 yen for travel expenses though, do they? Threw away trillions on Abe-no-masks to boot. Get your priorities straight with our money concernig the plight of the people!

27 ( +28 / -1 )

A suspension (and counseling) seems ‘just’ for this possibly preventable tragedy: A desperate, suicidal woman talked down by police who previously rejected her pleas for help from the same police, the government, public & private facilities. They all rejected her requests to assist with her growing, increasingly violent, mentally disabled 17y.o. son.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

When will Japan learn? The Government here is terrible when it comes to assisting the people who put them in power.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

A problem not unique to Japan. My paramour was a social worker for two decades in the USA and Germany - the breadth and numbers of those in need far exceeds the available resources. But, indeed:

"I WANT my taxes to support helping families like these that need assistance."

13 ( +13 / -0 )

very common in Japan.

gov wasting money for unecessary and unwanted olympics,abenomasks,olympic uniforms,olympic obentos,ojajis travel allowances,for us army staying costs on its own soil...but not for poor woman like that.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

This is going to be an unpopular comment, but I do think expecting mothers should have the foetus thoroughly tested for serious congential disorders - especially ones which do not show up on the ultrasound - and be offered, nay, encouraged to have a termination should the foetus show signs of serious abnormality. The quality of life is what matters, not its mere existence, and as we know from this story caring for a violent, mentally, and possibly physically disabled individual can grind even angels into the ground. And what of the son? He did not seem to have a happy existence, either.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Speed - post of the day! hear hear.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This could've been prevented long before this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She should have been given the chance to help her son -- meaning there needs to be FAR more services available than just the lip-service ones our taxes currently go into. She should not have been pushed to the point where she felt she had no choice but to murder her son. That said, she did, and she should also not have received a suspended sentence. This only sends the message that: "We can't and won't help you in such cases, so please remove the burden yourself and you will not be punished."

3 ( +8 / -5 )

As Speed said, I wish the government would think of a system where you can specify an amount of your taxes to be used for a purpose you can choose. Or use tax cuts to encourage more donations to charities, social services, etc. Similar in a sense to furusato nozei.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When will Japan learn? The Government here is terrible when it comes to assisting the people who put them in power.

Michael, its precisely because of the people who put them in power that the Government here is terrible when it comes to assisting them. Why bother doing anything when you know you are going to get voted back in anyway?

When will Japan learn? When the people learn to vote out those who don't have their best interests at heart the politicians will stop and think about how to win back people's hearts and minds.

Until then, its just an abusive relationship

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just tragic. And where is the father? Did he run away to escape his responsibility?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Bungle

This is going to be an unpopular comment, but I do think expecting mothers should have the foetus thoroughly tested for serious congential disorders - especially ones which do not show up on the ultrasound - and be offered, nay, encouraged to have a termination should the foetus

There is an argument to be made, however on the other hand once you start with eugenics problem you are on top of another slippery slope in modern countries. (In places like CCP China, that is of course not an issue.)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Totally impossible, no one can determine the outcome of one's health while in the womb. People go through out life with what we call perfect health and then all of a sudden they are stricken with MS, Cancer, autism etc. There are something that can be detected but no ONE WILL EVER BE PERFECT

Completely possible. Certain congenital diseases like Down’s Syndrome or Tay-Sachs can be diagnosed in utero. And if a doctor came to you and said, “Your child has Tay-Sachs and will be dead before they reach kindergarten. Their life will be short and agonizing, as the disease slowly destroys their nervous system. There is no treatment, there is no cure. Termination is an option”, I think you’d be happy to at least have that option.

My family has a history of multiple sclerosis. And that knowledge has informed my decision not to have children.

Callous as it may seem, if you are not prepared to deal with the possibility that your child might need your constant care for the rest of your natural life, then don’t have children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think prospective parents need to think a lot longer and a lot harder about ALL the possible consequences of choosing to bring a child into the world. Not just the normal “Am I ready for sleepless nights?” or “Do I have the budget for college?” Parents need to ask themselves “Am I prepared to take care of a profoundly disabled children when I’m 80?” or “Am I mentally and physically prepared to deal with a grown person with the mental capacity of a toddler?”

“I wasn’t prepared for this” isn’t an excuse. You can’t choose to have a kid while gambling that they’ll be 100% fine. You need to be sure you’re preparing for the worst case scenario.

There are only two decisions in life that you can make that, if successful, can’t be taken back. One is having a kid. The other is suicide. When you bring a life into the world, you waive any right you had to say “I’ve had enough”. You lose the luxury of going “I can’t do this anymore”. If you choose to have a child, you owe that child everything. You no longer have the right to back out when things get tough. And while having a robust safety net is important to help alleviate some of the strain, the ultimate responsibility for caring for a child, regardless of age or mental capacity, lies with the people who chose to conceive it

If you look at this woman’s situation and aren’t prepared to shoulder that kind of burden, there is no shame in not having children. In fact, I’d encourage you not to.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"And where is the father? Did he run away to escape his responsibility?"

I am really tired of people asking this question every time a Japanese woman injures or murders a child.

Do you have any idea of how many thousands of fathers in Japan CAN NOT see their children though they desperately want to?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't imagine the burden of having a disabled child.

Better to get an abortion if you learn about the disability during pregnancy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

More children in Japan are harmed or killed by women than men. The news tends to only focus on the men because of the brutality or the nature of the assault.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I agree with some of the comments above. If our tax money is like a share, and Parliament is like a Shareholder's meeting, we should have some form of say in these government spendings. We elect people to make decisions for us when it comes to bills and regulations, but government spending is something where we should have a high stake in when it comes to voting (high but not 50%) to determine the outcome which is not always in our best interests with the current state. We have the technology to do so now, our my numbers should be useful in making a voting app that helps us cast our votes for government spendings. If we already have something like this, then nevermind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zaphod

There is an argument to be made, however on the other hand once you start with eugenics problem you are on top of another slippery slope in modern countries. (In places like CCP China, that is of course not an issue.)

You're right, it started a while ago but it doesn't seem like an issue for any particular country.

https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12910-018-0319-9

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5767768/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548328/

https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/prenatal-genetic-screening-tests

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004373/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6346164/

......

Zaphod

Just tragic. And where is the father? Did he run away to escape his responsibility?

Maybe he was with her, or she was a widow or she divorced him. Who knows?

Anyways 54-17 = 37. Nowadays a lot of doctors go unheard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ngerlandDec. 16  10:08 am JST

I can’t believe ppl here are actually defending the woman.

I'm not seeing that. Which comments are you reading as defending here? I'm only seeing condemnations of the system.

To provide excuses in order to indirectly justify the actions of ceasing the life of ones own child in any context is a case to victimize the actions of the accused. That’s pretty much stating that her actions were justifiable under the conditions of the “system”. She was wrong, period. The outcome was of her doing. Thousands of others under the same “system” do not resort to such actions. It is not acceptable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese are mostly horrible when it comes to mental care, that is just a fact, if you seek help they will often prescribe something and tell you some BS speech that either it will get better or there is nothing they can do. They never try to direct or analyze what the toot cause of the problem is or how to best way handle it and which facility or person would be best suited in dealing with mental issues, counseling is a joke and they would just rather you go away and or hope that the problem will correct itself, out of sight and out of mind and the sad part is, mental illness is on the rise and you need understanding and empathy, deep empathy when dealing with disturbed people like this.

There is still a negative stigma that if you are diagnosed with some form of mental illness you are pretty much done, useless, a total outcast not worthy of being among the regular people of society that is expected to be perfect and part of the collective society and being flawed is problematic. Times and societies have changed and it is serious time that this nation focuses more on dealing with a very serious issue that is not going away and either this nation deals with this or they will hear a more similar stories like this or even crazier.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I can’t believe ppl here are actually defending the woman.

I'm not seeing that. Which comments are you reading as defending here? I'm only seeing condemnations of the system.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ask almost daily @Numan 2:43pm for ANY such intra-family statistics published by Japan’s NPA and/or Ministry of Justice but there apparently aren’t any. What’s your source?

*@***Numan 2:43pm**: “More children in Japan are harmed or killed by women than men….”

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I can’t believe ppl here are actually defending the woman.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is going to be an unpopular comment, but I do think expecting mothers should have the foetus thoroughly tested for serious congential disorders ...... and be offered, nay, encouraged to have a termination should the foetus show signs of serious abnormality.

I wonder what the many happy Downs syndrome kids and their loving families think of the idea of them being thought of as less worthy of life and love than others?

Or how about people like Nick Vujicic? No arms or legs but married with 4 kids, happy, and an inspirational speaker who has written books, travelled the world and encouraged millions.

Usually the problem is not the disability, but the lack of love and support.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Bungle wrote "This is going to be an unpopular comment, but I do think expecting mothers should have the fetus thoroughly tested for serious congenital disorders". Totally impossible, no one can determine the outcome of one's health while in the womb. People go through out life with what we call perfect health and then all of a sudden they are stricken with MS, Cancer, autism etc. There are something that can be detected but no ONE WILL EVER BE PERFECT! -"The quality of life is what matters, not its mere existence, and as we know from this story caring for a violent, mentally, and possibly physically disabled individual can grind even angels into the ground. And what of the son? He did not seem to have a happy existence, either". You have to except what you were "BORN WITH and deal with it" It is the way of life you can't pick and chose! Life is what you make it and what ever comes out of how you make it, the fact remains IT IS WHAT IT IS!! Deal with it!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites