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14-month-old boy dies after being hit by garbage truck

87 Comments

A 14-month-old boy died after being hit by a garbage truck near his home in Higashi-Osaka, police said Monday.

According to police, the accident happened at about 10:20 a.m. on Sunday. TBS reported that the boy, identified as Ren Yamaguchi, was playing with his 3-year-old sister in the street, when he was hit by the truck which was backing out onto the street after a pickup. The street is about 3.7 meters wide, police said

The boy was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

The 60-year-old driver of the truck was quoted by police as saying he did not see the boy on the street.

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87 Comments
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14-month-old and 3-year-old sister alone in the street? Something doesn't look right!

19 ( +20 / -1 )

14 month old and a 3 year old playing in the streets. Anywhere else but Japan Id be surprised.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

14-month-old and 3-year-old sister alone in the street? Something doesn't look right!

Nope! perfectly normal. I drive around the same scenario everyday on my way home. If the child is big enough to walk it is big enough to share the street will a 1500 kilo automobile and a half dozen other kids who are playing whatever the game of the day is. Mom is either on the Kati, watching a quiz/talk show or heating up dinner in the microwave. No worries all is good!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Our neighbors allow their children to play in the road in front of their house. Like an extension of the garden. The kids come running out between the cars looking neither right nor left. It is only a question of time before they get hit. I have warned my wife to slow down when she goes past, but other drivers will sadly have no warning.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Bad parenting! Nuff said.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Please no-one blame the driver for this one too..

Rip little boy. Hope life's better wherever you are.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

oikawa - Please no-one blame the driver for this one too..

Sadly, under Japanese law it is his fault. Why would anyone let toddlers play unattended in the street? Hopefully, his 3 year old sister is too young to remember it and will not suffer the grief for the rest of her life. I also hope her parents don't blame her for their laxed parenting skills.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

My question is obvious.....what are 2 kids so young doing playing on the street?? Sadly far too many Japanese parents have the ridiculously dumb mindset of 'It's OK....nothing will happen'. Geez I'd love to hear what the people who were responsible for allowing these children out on the street in the first place have to say. I really wish this society would learn some seriously basic commonsense. Sadly I can't see that happening.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I feel so blessed to have grown up in Europe where we have nice gardens and playgrounds to play with our friends and even houses with gardens if we are lucky enough and not living in big cities. Where I only see concrete playgrounds right next to the road with sometime heavy traffic in in Tokyo, not even grass or sand boxes... I feel sorry for the kids, the environment is really not fit to play around with your friends. Oh and of course we were always being watched over by parents

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I also hope the parents don't blame her for their laxed parenting skills.

Disillusioned - you just know that's what they will say; "we told the 3 year-old to watch him!" Like its a perfectly good excuse

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I'm not saying whose fault. Sadly the narrow roads and lack of park space, make Japan more dangerous in this way, than in other courtries, i think.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You guys are cruel. Saying bad parenting without knowing the parents side of the story as in where she/he was at the time and many other details. I am so sory for the mother of that boy she is probably heartbroken and so mad at herself :/ I hope that this will not effect the way she will treat her doughter :/

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Yurie: "You guys are cruel. Saying bad parenting without knowing the parents side of the story as in where she/he was at the time and many other details."

What other details do you need? An infant left under a three-year-old's care, and both out playing on the street. What defense can the parent(s) possibly offer? RIP to the little boy, and my sincere sympathy for the garbage truck driver. He'll have to shell out to the family for the family's neglect, and suffer until his end with the knowledge he hit a little boy on the job.

11 ( +14 / -4 )

Who leaves a 14 month old with a 3 yr old , oh yeh, that,s right in japan, Negligence, lack of responsibilty and that typical japanese mindset .. RIP little one,Hope the parents live, with knowing it was their fault...

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Rest in Peace, very sad accident. Frankly can't blame the driver if he honestly did all the checking in the rear view mirror, it could have happened to anyone.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Kids unattended play in the streets in front of my house as well. I don't understand it and in school days. During my times we weren't allowed to go out to play but on weekends.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Why I'm seeing way blown out of reality comments like "all Japanese people can't look after kids, or every kid in Japan runs on the street" I still understand. I live near 3 schools, one day I saw a little boy around 5 run out in front of a car on purpose and wave his arms around like he was playing chicken. Kids here have no knowledge of the road. They do not look out for cars. I am a kindergarten teacher and always see the kids playing oblivious to dangers. So I can understand why this kid got hit by this truck. They have no space to play, being brought up in cramped Japan the street is their only space to play....oblivious to dangers.

R.I.P child. I hope the mom is comforted and remembers next time she should always be there with the kids to watch over them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I want to know what the 14-month old was doing unsupervised. For me, the parents are guilty, not the driver of the garbage truck.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

There have been a few comments about the lack of space in Japan. While obviously true, there is also an abundance of parks, and by virtue of that lack of space almost by definition not too far away from houses and apartments. Take the kids to the park, it's not too difficult, or let them run around inside, instead of outside on a road at 1 year-old. The thing is, when you go to the park you see what people are really like. I've got a few friends who seem completely oblivious to the possible dangers of not knowing where a 1 or 2 year-old is even for a split-second when there is a major road running all along one side of the park 20 metres away. I've had to tell my friends their kid was about to run into the road through a hole in the bush, or trying to climb over a climbing frame 3 metres high at 1 year-old. I don't know if they've been lulled into a false sense of security or what, but luckily for them compared to their attitudes car drivers usually drive relatively attentively.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I feel horrible for this poor driver. He was just doing his job, and agree it was the parents fault, not his, and no doubt he is going to have a large amount of stress due to these parents not doing their job properly.

A 14 month old is too small to be seen by cars or garbage trucks, playing on the road by himself.

I want the parents to be held accountable for this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

STUPID PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate reading stories like this

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Parents need to be locked up!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No way that the driver can be blamed for this one. I doubt he will do any time, probably his firm will have to pay up though, but that's what insurance is for. Sad story...very, very sad. Rest in peace little one and as mentioned in an earlier post, I too, hope life is better where you are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Man feel sorry for the driver. Where were the parental units? To busy with their cell phones? Parks are all around we go most weekends if the weather is nice.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Yurie Yoshida

I agree that it is impossible to determine who was at fault without knowing just what happened. So sad that a child died. I feel sorry for everybody else involved, they must feel terrible.

Wish there was a little bit more compassion on this site rather than everybody acting like its a popularity contest.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Yurie: I hope this does effect the way she will treat her daughter. I hope it will push her to be more attentive. Maybe she can even use her tragic story to educate others in the community. I hope that something good will come from such a tragic situation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Whichever parent who was home and who should have been directly supervising both children should be prosecuted for negligent manslaughter. There can be no excuse.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In Tokyo there are millions of acres occupied by road while a mere few square meters for pedestrians and children. Narrow streets should be shared between both and speed limit <30 km/h enforced!

Every driver must be able to avoid an accident with pedestrian in such street. No excuse!

Or - as most of the readers says - if a child escape it has signed his death penalty! What a world!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

ReformedBasher: "Wish there was a little bit more compassion on this site rather than everybody acting like its a popularity contest"

Compassion for whom? The parents that allowed a child just out of infancy to play in the middle of the road? Yeah, let's feel sorry for them so that they can do it again! I'm still not sure what other facts you and Yurie need to realize this is ultimately the fault of the parents.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The driver shouldn't have been backing up if he couldn't see behind, someone should've been guiding him. He should share the blame with the parent(s).

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

smithinjapan: 3.6m wide is not a road but a very narrow street!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yesterday I saw a similar age baby sitting in a park eating leaves and dirt and her mum was 100 meters away deep in conversation with a friend sitting on a bench. I stopped in front the baby and waited a few minutes - I couldn't just leave him there. After 4 minutes or so his mother looked over and started walking over. I couldn't believe it

6 ( +6 / -0 )

These are the kinds of parents I see who let the kids RUN LOOSE in their cars instead of sitting their $#@#$ down & in seatbelts!

Sadly this is a VERY common thing in Japan, govt should release stats on child death on roads, both from being on the raod & for not wearing seatbelts, numbers are liley pretty damned high sadly!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

letsberealistic: what is wrong with a baby playing with dirt and leaves? Do you think it is better to play enclosed at Kidzania with zillions of germs spread all over while parents are sipping a coke at the cafeteria! Ridiculous!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Sadly this is a VERY common thing in Japan, govt should release stats on child death on roads, both from being on the raod & for not wearing seatbelts, numbers are liley pretty damned high sadly!

They do. The total for Year ending 3/2013 for 15 years and under was 15. It's an epidemic I tell ya.

http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/List.do?lid=000001110232

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No one wanted this to happen. Who would've expected this to happen? Besides, the truck was just "backing"... the street is prolly to small for any vehicles to pass at a fast speed. This is probably the first time it happened in that place too, who knows? Well this might be a lesson too, but oh well... I am not the parent nor the truck driver, who gave you guys the right to insult the mother?

I send my condolences to the parents and prayers to the boy's soul. RIP. D:

Those men in above, keep running your mouths, what if something like this happens to you? Zzzzzz

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Open Minded

letsberealistic: what is wrong with a baby playing with dirt and leaves? Do you think it is better to play enclosed at Kidzania with zillions of germs spread all over while parents are sipping a coke at the cafeteria! Ridiculous!

My point was not that he was playing in the dirt eating leaves, my point was he was completely unsupervised - the mother, out of ear-shot was not watching him.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

letsberealistic: fair enough, but do not underestimate the supervision skill of a mother or a father. No need to be at hand distance in a safe country, especially in a most likely gated park.

And above everything this teaches the children to understand their limits too. If not here, where can they learn that?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Open Minded: "smithinjapan: 3.6m wide is not a road but a very narrow street!"

Oh, I'm not praising Japanese streets by any means, nor will I praise the preference put on vehicles above the safety of living things, but it does not change the fact, and in fact makes it worse, that parents let infants play on said streets while they did who knows what and one of their children died.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Open Minded: "If not here, where can they learn that?"

Pretty hard to learn when you're dead. That's when the PARENTS learn how stupid they were.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

smithinjapan: cars hegemony is not a fatality. Many countries - especially in Europe - put them back to their place while giving back areas to the human beings. Parents try their best in a very limited left space.

It is definitely better and more healthy to play outside than spending hours in front of the WiFi with locked door and free chips, soda and ice cream!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Now tell me. Parent let her children play outside and lets say she just forgot to take somethign from their home so she walked in the ohuse for literaly 20 seconds comes out and the son is dead. How is that parents fault? When it comes to children anything can happen in the matters of seconds. My little sister one second she is next to me the next she is in the livingroom drawing on walls with pencils. So downvote me if oyu like but it is not parents fault for now since i dont know where they were at the time. And i can tell you that there is no way that the driver could not have seen 2 children playing on the street if he looked at the damn mirrors. i guarantee you he didnt pay full attention to the mirrors and missed them.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

PS. It sais that he backed off AFTER picking up trash. whitch means he HAD to be behind the truck to empty the bins there is NO WAY he didnt see what was behind him even before he was in the truck. Say what ever you want but the driver is at fault just as much as the parents.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Open minded:

" but do not underestimate the supervision skill of a mother or a father. No need to be at hand distance in a safe country, especially in a most likely gated park. "

But not on a road, regardless how small. A 14-year old has to be at the end of your hand there. No excuse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Open Minded: "It is definitely better and more healthy to play outside than spending hours in front of the WiFi with locked door and free chips, soda and ice cream!"

Is it now? I thought we were talking about the death of a child. How well did it do him?

Yurie: "Now tell me. Parent let her children play outside and lets say she just forgot to take somethign from their home so she walked in the ohuse for literaly 20 seconds comes out and the son is dead. How is that parents fault? "

It's called neglect, bottom line.

"So downvote me if oyu like but it is not parents fault for now since i dont know where they were at the time"

If you don't know where your children are that is neglect.

"i guarantee you he didnt pay full attention to the mirrors and missed them."

Prove it.

"Say what ever you want but the driver is at fault just as much as the parents."

Nope. The driver was doing his job, the parents were not, or the 1-year-old wouldn't have been playing in the street under the guard of a three year old.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

WilliB: I just have a different view on how the space can be shared between the car and the human being (and especially children). It seems the US view is definitely predominant here.

There are 100's of examples in Europe where both can live together in streets (3.7 meter wide is a STREET). But for some selfish reasons there are other places where the cars are considered like gods. Thinking out of the car tin can seems just impossible!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The truth is that no one can say with any certainty who is at fault here until the entire story is told. But as a mother I hold any parent with greater burden of responsibility of keeping their children safe and out of harms way.....it's our duty to do so.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Smith: we could argue hours and hours. But the fact of the matter is that 90% of the drivers don't have a cautious and defensive behavior, are speeding in narrow streets, don't respect pedestrian crossing, don't care red lights and are just unable to stop quick enough in case of emergency.

In these circumstances blaming parents for a few seconds or even minutes of inattention is just inappropriate and indecent.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Alime i NEVER said it was entirely drivers fault if you read i said " The driver is at fault just as much as the parents . Now look at all the comments above EVERY single oen of them are blaming parents and sayign that the driver is at fault yes parents are responsibe for safety of their children thats true but now tell me if i am a driver shouldnt i be responsible for my driving? Its easy to say "i didnt see " but did he really not see or is he just saying it so he doesnt get in trouble and he actualy didnt pay much attention? It is your responsability to use your side mirrors and pay FULL and undivided attention to the road and suroundings to avoid accidents.

Now im not sure if i got this right but if i did you are a mother now im only 20 so i do not have children but i do have a little 4 year old sister who i adore and love with all my heart. So as a mother tell me do you have your child in sight for 100% of the time while he/she is awake? and be honest. Because i really doubt that if you just need to get a pen from another room you bring your child with you or if you went outside with your children and forgot the keys i doubt you would rush your child inside just to get the keys. When i go outside with my sister and i forget my phone i dont take my sister with me to my room to get my phone. i tell her to wait here and get a phone. But you know acording to Smith that is neglecting? REALLY? "Im sorry for neglectign you Yuuko i just wanned to get my phone..."

So now Alimel please tell me that what i just said is wrong. And that all of those peopel that blame the parents and excuse the drivre are right.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

@Open minded. YES cars ARE like gods of DEATH against a 1 year old that cant POSSIBLY understand the basic rule of looking both ways before setting foot on a street. A 1 year old is not tall enough to be seen through ANY rear view mirror but even if it were, a mother that relies on other drivers not to hit their baby instead of doing her job should rot in HELL. I pray that neither you nor Yurie ever have any children as they would surely die painful deaths!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And no its never, ever ok to leave a 1 year old alone outside for minutes at a time, even in an emergency!! As the poster earlier said, he saw a baby eating DIRT and whatever it could find on the ground of the park for 5 minutes! It could choke and die!! Are you so cruel as to think thats ok because you sympathize with the bad parent being allowed to be lazy? Such a parent does not deserve to live, let alond have a child!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

jump when you have your children throw out all the electronics and everything that you own in your house. Turn off your phone and sit next to your child 24/7 and STARE at him/her until they are like i dont know 7-8 years old? because as i said above there are no parent in the world who has their eyes on their children for 100% of the time.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Everybody calm down and stop bickering.

Yurie, I have a daughter your age and one that is 6 yrs old. Like you, my oldest would leave her sister outside, but I don't. I live on a street that does not have a lot of traffic but a lot of speeders. My oldest doesn't think of the potential danger and expect that her little sister will just mind her and stay put. When my children were toddlers I was always with them outside the home. Inside the house they were always on the same level of the home as I was on. I had baby gates set up, doors and windows latched, only use back burners on the stove, etc. When shopping my littles wore a harness or held my hand always. Only when they started school were they completely out of my sight. It's the parents duty to foresee and avoid possible dangers. It's the promise that I and countless parents made that we will keep them safe. That's why people are reacting so greatly to the parents. And no, making yourself a cup of tea while your sister plays is not neglect....unless you left her outside with no supervision to monitor her safety.

Keep in mind too that most people are reactive when they read news that a child has been hurt or killed and many times post based on emotions. But this story is not black and white as there is so few details as to what really happened. The truth is, with what little is reported everyone is right and everyone is wrong. SHould the parents been more vigilant of where their children were playing and their surroundings? Yes. Should the driver been more vigilant in his driving and actions in a residential area with narrow street? Yes. Had everyone done what they should have done would this child be alive today? Yes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Of course you would stop replying when you could no longer defend your baseless defence of this horrific mother. And yes this manner of child care is BEYOND uncivilized- the rest of japanese society is much more civilized than this cruel neglect.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yurie, I don't think you understand what I said about emotions. I didn't say anyone lacked emotions here, least of all you. I said that many are posting based on emotions. Which directions they blame will be based on their own opinions by experience and observation. Most people are reactive and not proactive. Like with most situations there is a lot of finger pointing but no solutions. As I said before, everyone is right and everyone is wrong, this is not a black and white situation. All parties involved hold a certain amount of responsibility but with so little details it is hard to say who really holds the larger burden of responsibility.

And truth be told, it's not about money when keeping your children safe, it's about vigilance. You make do with what you have in all aspects of life including childrens safety. With my oldest we were in our 20's and had very little. And, truth be told, little knowledge or experience and made our fair share of mistakes. I don't doubt this mother is probably in the worst place imaginable right now emotionally. Lessons are learned with experience. However I will say this, with as much that is reported in the news about these types of accidents, this is not another lesson that was needed to be learned but should have already been a concern to many parents out there. We all need to approach situations with a "better safe than sorry" attitude, especially when it comes to children.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And Alimel I agree with you but who would have ever imagined that that would happen? But people are talking about these parents liek they did it on purpose and wanned this to happen to their children. Like this Jump guy he sounds like the parents did this on purpose and were waitign for that truck to come along.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Yurie, again that falls back to being reactive with regards to peoples postings. No one can imagine something horrific like this will happen to them but think for a second.....in not me then who? We all know it happens and it is careless to believe that you are immune to it. That is where the "better safe than sorry" mindset plays it's part. Look, I hear these stories all the time. I am an auto accident adjuster in the US and investigate accidents everyday. (I work from my home office so that is why I get to be home with my children and watch them the way I want them to be watched). Perhaps this is why I am able to remove my emotions and fingerpointing from this. I want more details before reaching a conclusion. Do not let the ones who are jumping on your posts get to you or make you angry, they are expressing their opinions just like you and I are doing. Don't let them bait you into an argument and remain civil like you are with me and just discuss. Differing opinions are good, it allows us to think in a direction that we didn't come up with on our own. We still don't have to agree with it after giving it thought though, lol. After all, our opinions and the right to express them is ours to choose.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Ok Alimel but does this sound like opinion to you? " OMG these parents are the worst they need to rot in hell ect ect... blablabla " to me it sounds like a full insult and not a discussion or opinion.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I've never seen a garbage truck in Japan that didn't have at least two men riding on the back so I'd like to know more about the truck.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Exactly Moondog thats why i said there was no way they could have missed it.... It makes no sence

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I agree with alimel's sentence,"It's the parents duty to foresee and avoid possible dangers." But i would make one change, It is at least the parent's duty to TRY to forsee & avoid possible dangers. Toddlers, 3 year olds, kids don't really have the understanding of the consequences that come with one's actions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ahhh....I stand corrected hachikoreloaded. You are correct, as humans we are all fallible and often fall short of perfection.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Readers, from here on, posts in which you bicker with other readers will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@smith

Are you a parent? If you were, you should know how many close calls parents have with kids all the time.

I was holding my son's hand prior to putting him into into car seat when some idiot whipped around the corner and tried to impress his girlfriend by driving into the adjoining parking space at full speed. He would not have of noticed my son because of his height - it's very lucky that he saw me - and stopped at the last moment.

What would you have me do to improve my my parenting skill, genius?

Foresee what was going to happen? Somehow predict that a car, shielded by my own, is driven by some idiot who decides at the last moment to show off?

By the way, this did not happen in Japan, not that it makes any difference.

The fact is, if the parents were without blame, you and the other Japan haters would be complaining about the old driver, and how he should be driving blah, blah. If you can't see the inhabitants of this country as people like me and you, the , yes, you do some soul searching and ask yourself where you went wrong. Never to late to change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This incident and the comments below it would make a good child safety lesson.

First let me say that the parents don't need to be punished - neither does the driver probably. I'm sure all are sad beyond words right now.

But -yes, this accident didn't need to happen.

@Yurie Yoshida. Your thinking is exactly what leads to injuries and death.

You said that maybe the mother just went in to the house for 20 seconds and that would be okay. Well I would NEVER leave a 3yr old and a 1yr old on the street for 20 seconds.

Why? Because 20 seconds is all it needs for a car, or a weirdo, or heaven forbid - a garbage truck to turn the corner.

If I were baby-sitting someone's kids, I wouldn't let them out of my sight on a road. That's common sense, and it's why so many people are making the comments they are.

It's called imagining the worst case scenario. So if I had that age kids playing on a road I wouldn't be going anywhere because I'd be thinking that whether it's 20 minutes or 2 minutes or 20 seconds is immaterial. THe only thing that changes is probability.

And most child deaths sadly take place in those few minutes or seconds. It's not usually "my back was only turned for an hour", or I just left them in the bath for 30 minutes - it's "I only went to check on the stove..." Famous last words.

And no matter what you say about the driver - the parents weren't there.

He's my philosophy as a parent and I'll use your example. I'd rather have my kids alive, and put up with bringing them with me for 20 seconds to check the phone, or tell them to stand at the door for those 20 seconds, then to have my one year old die, and me to be blaming some garbage truck driver for the rest of my life, and having my 3yr old grow up always thinking - maybe if i did this or that my little brother would still be alive.

Please, until you realize the incredible danger of leaving a kid less than 2 on the road without your being there, don't have kids.

And now thanks to you, I have the perfect baby sitter selection test question. " Would it be negligent to leave the two kids on the road while I went to get my phone etc?"

If they answer like you, they wouldn't be looking after my kids.

Now, get angry with me, but I won't bother answering. But hopefully before you have kids or get a babysitting job you'll remember the poor little kid.

And yes, I'm another one who sees potential accidents almost everyday in Japan. People say it's tough because the roads are small and there aren't yards, and sidewalks etc. Exactly, that's why you have to be MORE careful with kids in Japan.

Don't worry - there are lots of Japanese women who think like you. I'm married to one, so I've had to teach road safety and child safety to her like I'm dealing with a 13yr old.

We have to start thinking!! There's always a bad driver or a new driver or someone who just for those incredibly important 10 seconds is distracted.

Let's look after our kids until they can look after themselves. Please.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Having narrowly missed running over a six-year old, dashing across a major road in Tokyo, while the parents just stood there and smiled, I'm afraid I can only agree that parenting in Japan leaves a LOT to be desired...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tragic accident. Not enough info for me to blame anyone but it's most likely the parents' responsibility.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is not difficult to keep your eyes on a child literally all the time in certain situations. Letting them crawl around the house where nothing can happen is not one of those situations, but putting your 1 year old child unsupervised in a street certainly is. It doesn't matter what stupid or negligent things other people might do. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure they're not going to die if someone makes a wrong move. It's very very simple.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Whats wrong with parents in Japan? they need training!

Reading the stories on here and the fact I've literally saved a baby carriage (with new born) from rolling onto a busy road when the mother ran away to greet her friends.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Yurie: "Its easy to say "i didnt see " but did he really not see or is he just saying it so he doesnt get in trouble and he actualy didnt pay much attention? "

And yet you are so eager to accuse the driver while you ask such questions?

ReformedBasher: "I was holding my son's hand prior to putting him into into car seat when some idiot whipped around the corner and tried to impress his girlfriend by driving into the adjoining parking space at full speed. He would not have of noticed my son because of his height - it's very lucky that he saw me - and stopped at the last moment."

So, in other words, you were with your son, holding his hand and watching over him, and he was not killed. That's in pretty stark contrast to what happened in this story, don't you think? You say yourself that had you not been present your son would not have been seen and something worse could have happened, no? So where were the parents of the INFANT playing in the street? YOUR parenting skills are not what is being called into question here. A baby boy is dead because he was left to play in the street with a THREE-year old. That is horrible parenting, bottom line, and with the most tragic results.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Open Minded: "In these circumstances blaming parents for a few seconds or even minutes of inattention is just inappropriate and indecent."

Show me proof it was just a few minutes or seconds. Show me proof that the driver of the truck was one of the "90%" you mention and not the 10% who ARE cautious. I can show you proof the parents were not their while an infant and his slightly older sister were playing on the street, and it resulted in his death.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Yurie you don't have to watch this or reply to me, but if you do I think it might give you some insight as to why westerners might be flabbergasted at the idea of leaving a baby alone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgNVnU-cWo

This shows complete strangers phoning 911 when they see that a baby has been left alone in a car even for just a few minutes. It is not normal to us to do otherwise.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@moondog I've seen lots of garbage trucks with nobody riding on the back. Some of the larger ones have sufficient seats in the cab for the whole crew. I've seen trucks of widely varying sizes and shapes and crew numbers, both in rural and in urban Japan. I don't know, but I assume that the style of truck and size of crew are determined by the route, and perhaps also by the budget of the ward/town that's paying for it.

Having seen a variety of streets and roads in various parts of the city and country, some very narrow and with terrible visibility due to utility poles, parked cars, signs, trees, etc., and seen too many small kids left unsupervised, it's unfortunately very easy for me to imagine this sort of thing happening. I'm surprised that it doesn't happen more often, actually.

I tend to blame the parent(s) in this case because the kids were both too young to be playing unsupervised where there's any traffic risk (which is pretty much everywhere except for really large parks). Unfortunately the driver is going to be held responsible because that's the way it works in Japan: the driver has to avoid everything, regardless of practicality, and extenuating circumstances don't help much except perhaps in sentencing.

If you're a parent or otherwise responsible for little kids, please keep an eye on them. If you're a driver, expect the unexpected and don't make assumptions based on common sense. It's not all that common.

Stay safe, folks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yurie YoshidaApr. 22, 2013 - 11:45PM JST Now tell me. Parent let her children play outside and lets say she just forgot to take somethign from their home so she walked in the ohuse for literaly 20 seconds comes out and the son is dead. How is that parents fault?

You answered your own question. Kids that young should NOT be unsupervised full stop. If you missed the answer to your own question.......the answer is 'the person who left their son alone for 20 seconds to go into their house'. Do you honestly think that the dangers of the world are going to cease to exist for the 20 seconds that she/he is not in their presence??? It is your type of thinking that perhaps was the reason no one was looking after the kids when this terrible accident happened. I fell so sorry for the driver and not one once of sorrow for the person who left their children unsupervised. Like I said earlier this neck of the woods has a serious lack of commonsense issue which won't improved anytime soon.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@smith

So, in other words, you were with your son, holding his hand and watching over him, and he was not killed. That's in pretty stark contrast to what happened in this story, don't you think?

Not really, I wasn't there. And neither were you.

People are not perfect. I'll agree some parents need better education but it's not just a Japanese problem, just like I mentioned above. Remember see some woman back home taking some kids to see 'Predators'. The youngest was about 2nd grade at elementary school. I've seen kids run amok around a pool at night (shudder) while their parents chat. None of them gave a stuff that i was literally running after their kids trying to prevent a tragic accident. In that kind of scenario, it's almost certain that one of the kids would badly hurt themselves or even drown.

I'm just stepped out of a laboratory/factory. As an adult, there's all kinds of close calls with heavy machinery and dangerous chemicals. And that's a controlled environment where the dangers are least finite, not that a team of specialists can foresee them all.

Maybe the mum was wrong, but I'd say unless you are a parent, and a damn near perfect one, give the mudslinging a miss.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@smith

Show me proof it was just a few minutes or seconds. Show me proof that the driver of the truck was one of the "90%" you mention and not the 10% who ARE cautious. I can show you proof the parents were not their while an infant and his slightly older sister were playing on the street, and it resulted in his death.

Show us the proof it wasn't. Ridiculous request.

If I had been facing another direction, or my son was a step or two in front, he may well be dead or badly injured.

If you're smart enough to read novels in Japanese, show some common sense and some common decency while you're at it.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How sad and tragic :( RIP little boy...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes Yurie, you have to watch your child 24 hours a day until ......I agree to Ikemen! That's parenting..i too baby sit and always have in mind all the worst scenarios, just as if she was my very own child...all the more!!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Balefire wrote:

@moondog I've seen lots of garbage trucks with nobody riding on the back. Some of the larger ones have sufficient seats in the cab for the whole crew. I've seen trucks of widely varying sizes and shapes and crew numbers, both in rural and in urban Japan.

Hmm. I have seen garbage trucks driving down the street with the crew inside, but never when backing up while working. In those cases there have always been two or more workers riding on the back or running alongside throwing the bags in the hopper. But I only lived in Japan for 30 years in three prefectures in rural, suburb and urban settings so what do I know ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reformed Basher

Holding your kids' hand in a car park is the limit of what you could have done. You can't foresee stupidly unpredictable behaviour by others. But not looking after a 1 year old in a street is in my opinion, criminally negligent. You can't even legally leave a child in a house by themselves until they reach a certain age, let alone 1 year-old, and a street is a lot more dangerous than that. If they won't change the law so it should be a criminal offence people's attitudes at least need to change. I don't have much doubt, although some, about their love for their children, but I have no doubt about the comparative lack of commonsensical care or thought about potential dangers by parents in Japan compared to ones in England.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oikawa,

What I'm saying is that since neither of us were actually there, all we have to go on is the text above.

I'll agree it sounds stupid. What riles me though is the knee jerk reaction by the same people over and over again. If they really cared, they'd do more about it than post on a website.

At the same time, I don't think Japan is either unique or the worst country in the world when it comes to negligent parents or drivers. I had my memory refreshed when I went back home for 5 years. There's plenty of idiots there too. Don't see why every article has to be an excuse for some political agenda

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Reformed

I don't think it is a political agenda though, and I don't think you should either. You have to accept people's opinions at face value and debate the content of the argument, or not debate them at all if you think people are coming from a prejudiced viewpoint. You can't debate something if you think someone is not being honest, it's just impossible.

What action would you want people to take exactly? You think a single gaijin is somehow going to have the motivation and ability to somehow change people's attitudes? I do all all I can by pointing out when friend's kids are in danger and what else could I do?

I certainly agree Japan isn't the worst when it comes to driving. People generally drive safely and considerately. But too many people, including myself, my Japanese wife when looking at her friends, and lots of other posters on this board, have noticed a very lackadaisical attitude to children's safety in Japan compared to England, in my case, and not just concerning driving, but letting very young children get into situations where any mature adult or even teenager in England would have stopped them long before. Even if we're wrong at least it's an honest viewpoint.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@moondog You make a good point about garbage truck workers riding on the back or running alongside while working. Our experience seems similar (various parts of Kanagawa, Tokyo, and Saitama in my case), and 30 years is a long time. I've been here since '70, myself, but oneupmanship is silly. Either way, we've both evidently seen a lot of garbage trucks. :)

What I haven't seen myself (although that doesn't mean it doesn't happen) is a garbage truck backing while trash is being picked up, thrown into the truck, etc. I've only seen cases in which the truck is either stationary--as in the guys get out, the truck moves up the road, and the guys collect everything in the intervening space, then the truck repeats, maybe 50 meters or so at a time--or the truck moves very slowly forward as the collectors pick up and throw in the bags.

I merely assumed, since I've never seen anyone outside of a garbage truck while it's backing, that the driver had only his mirrors to rely on and could unfortunately have easily missed seeing such a small kid. Another thing that I haven't seen, BTW, is garbage trucks with cameras in the rear, as some other trucks and even POVs have these days. They may exist, but I haven't seen any myself, yet. Although the vehicles I've driven with rear-view cameras weren't ideal, they were certainly better than just the mirrors, on big trucks, at least. Perhaps installing them should be a priority, to at least somewhat minimize the risk of such accidents in the future.

All the technology in the world, though, can't compete with parents making the utmost effort to keep their kids safe, particularly such little ones.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Balefire You're right about the need for cameras ... not just on garbage trucks but on all large vehicles. The newer cameras, by the way, are quite good. I recently drove a new Benz and that system gave not only a good image but displayed a track showing where you would go based on the current steering wheel direction.

As for oneupmanship, one thing I've learned is that there is always someone else who did it earlier. I first came to Japan in '68 (and left for a number of years) but a good friend of mine, the late Jay Gluck (author of "Japan Inside Out") was the first person to enter Japan after WWII not as a part of the Occupation and another friend came even earlier--he spent the war years as a teenager in a concentration camp in Zama (now a U.S. military base). We we got together, I was the new guy, even after 20 or 25 years in the country. :-P

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Moondog That's good to know about the current state of cameras; the track in addition to the rear view sounds as if it would be helpful for drivers especially in some of the really narrow and obstructed roads. I'd think they'd be good for folks who rent trucks for moving or what not without being frequent drivers of large vehicles, as well as for drivers of garbage trucks, delivery trucks, or what-have-you. I'll look into rear-view cameras next time I buy a car.

Certainly anything that reduces the risk of hitting pedestrians--kids or otherwise--is a good thng.

And I don't envy your friend his teen experience in wartime Zama...that must have been truly dire.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ratpack

My question is obvious.....what are 2 kids so young doing playing on the street?? Sadly far too many Japanese parents have the ridiculously dumb mindset of 'It's OK....nothing will happen'. Geez I'd love to hear what the people who were responsible for allowing these children out on the street in the first place have to say. I really wish this society would learn some seriously basic commonsense. Sadly I can't see that happening.

Fine Question! Why were they playing in the street, why are 1,2,3...7 Year Olds needlessly dying...? Oh, but let's NOT focus any police resources on Educating, Ticketing, Warning Parents, every time you see infants being driven around without car seats, or toddlers being allowed to run wild... Oh,and don't even worry about passing any Laws to hold parents liable for endangering their youngsters...

Oh, but let's go after Bicycle Riders...! Because they're an easy target!

Educating Parents should be the NUMBER 1 Priority of the JCops, considering they obviously don't have enough to do now, so they inventing ways to keep busy.

Ridiculous...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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