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18-year-old female university student dies of alcohol poisoning

49 Comments

An 18-year-old female university student in Kyoto died of alcohol poisoning in November, it was revealed Monday. The girl, a student at the arts faculty at Seika University, was attending a launch party for a university festival with friends when she died of acute alcohol poisoning.

According to the university, a group of students and alumni numbering around 100 people had gathered in a university plaza on Nov 26 to celebrate the launch of the festival and had been drinking since around 6 p.m. On the morning of Nov 27 at around 3:30 a.m., a friend noticed that the girl looked unwell and telephoned the emergency services. Shortly afterward, paramedics announced that she was dead. During questioning, other students in attendance denied that the girl had been coerced into drinking.

After concerns were voiced that the girl was under the legal drinking age of 20, a university investigation revealed that at least 24 other minors were in attendance. A university spokesman said, "We inform all students that underage drinking is illegal, but in light of recent events, we are looking into further prevention measures."

© Compiled from news reports

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49 Comments
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What a sad waste of a very young life. RIP young lady.

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I'm surprised this doesn't occur more often. Sad story though. Her parents must be devestated.

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During questioning, other students in attendance denied that the girl had been coerced into drinking.

I am pretty sure they she was certainly "actively encouraged" to imbibe.

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Underage drinking is nothing new. Just need to teach them how to call it quits.

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They cheer each other on with the stupid hand clapping games etc. Poor thing.

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Binge drinking is becoming a serious problem in some universities. Young people away from home for the first time who up until now have spent all their time poring over books and studying to get into university - suddenly they have more freedom than they can handle, and drinking seems to be the thing to do to be grown-up and cool. Some of the bigger, more prestigious universities are quite proactive in nipping this kind of thing in the bud (I've worked on some pamphlets that are handed out to freshers and to the organisers of student clubs and events), but it seems a lot of universities still have a lot of work to do.

Poor girl. She died of stupidity, possibly not all of it her own.

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Come on guys..it was just a freak accidents! The body usually causes you to vomit if you consume alcohol to dangerous levels. Unfortunately her body didn't do that!

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Unfortunate, sad story. Japan does not have anywhere near as much of a problem as European & US underage drinking though.

Moderator: Stay on topic please. Comparisons with other countries are irrelevant.

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This "underage" bit is ridiculous. You can't expect university students not to drink. High school students, fair enough. But once people leave home they're obviously going to go to bars and izakayas.Everyone knows it happens. Sad for the girl's parents :(

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Throwing the BS flag on the not coerced into drinking. Anyone work in Japan and try to not drink at company events? Its freaking ridiculous. Love it. You must drink, here drink...I dont want to...you MUST!!...my stomach hurts...DRINK! IKI IKI IKI!. Next Day...now my stomach really hurts...Yeah you drank to much last night - odaijini ne! FFS

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Damn. Sad that this happened. Accidents happen and it must be terrible for her family. Let's not judge the whole society, though. And, you DON'T have to do anything you don't want to.

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Sad and tragic, but a freak accident. LoveinJapan21 has the right of it. It's extremely unusual that she wasn't throwing up, and in most cases that would have staved off the alcohol poisoning long enough for the EMTs to arrive.

I'd suggest a full blood screening, because that lack of a vomiting reflex is really strange and she might have been on other drugs (prescription or not).

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RIP poor girl...

I'm waiting for the report of this happening at my Japanese university as well. I never drank as much alcohol as during taking the uni courses in Japan.

Many of my classmates were under aged and actually having their first drink there and then. I can say I'm lucky laws weren't that strict in my country when I was 16 :) - as this allows one's body to get used to the poison and limits the shock(a bit).

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I totally agree with Lovejapan21.(MHSRI). Let's move on guys.

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this is the first time i heard such... in other country, like mine, the legal drinking age is 18...

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a friend noticed that the girl looked unwell and telephoned the emergency services. Shortly afterward, paramedics announced that she was dead

Who writes this drivel? Of course she looked unwell. She was dead, right?

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A university spokesman said, “We inform all students that underage drinking is illegal, but in light of recent events, we are looking into further prevention measures.”

Gee, you mean simply telling students not to participate in underage drinking isn't enough? Who would've thought???

RIP young lady, and shame on your friends for not watching your back.

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Anyone work in Japan and try to not drink at company events?

that's me. i drink a glass of chuhai, and the rest is oolong-tea. i eat lots, though.. and people tell me i get happier with oolong-tea more than people who are actually drinking alcohol! i was never forced to drink.. i was asked to hold a glass of beer for kampai, but nobody forces me.

it looks like the girl had too much fun and didn't know her limit. feel sorry for the parents.. RIP girl.

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Actually vomiting may have been what killed her. One way alcohol kills is when the person vomits while unconscious and the stomach's contents go into the lungs.

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Binge drinking is becoming a serious problem in some universities

Is becoming? I think it always has been. I know it was some 40 odd years ago when I was at Uni. Although, the legal drinking age in Oz is 18, so we weren't breaking any laws.

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Agree with disillusioned.

There are many countries where at age 18 you are legally an adult so no problem with underage drinking in those countries.

Rip, poor girl.

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Unfortunate news, but no amount of lecturing is going to stop college kids from drinking too much. Especially in a country where no one cards and alcohol is available 24 hours a day for consumption anywhere you want. Not to mention the bombardment of advertisements.

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Moderator: Stay on topic please. Comparisons with other countries are irrelevant.

Geez, WHY is that, moderator? Is Japan above comparisons? Would it be embarrassing to learn something from the comparison? Just asking why it would be just so gosh darn irrelevant?

Moderator: Recall your high school debating days.

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I've managed to drink ever since college, a survivor I guess! You gotta drink an awful lot to die, otherwise it would be the preferred choice of the Japanese for for suicide! If your still standing after the last glass you'l survive! RIP.

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Come on guys..it was just a freak accidents! The body usually causes you to vomit if you consume alcohol to dangerous levels. Unfortunately her body didn't do that!

Although the term accident would apply based upon definition in my opinion this is not a freak accident if you purposely consume that amount of alcohol. And anyone that drinks alcohol and uses the body's vomiting as a way to determine when they should stop drinking is an fing DA.

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I'd suggest a full blood screening, because that lack of a vomiting reflex is really strange and she might have been on other drugs (prescription or not).

No its not strange at all, alcohol if you consume enough of it can actually stop/prevent the gag reflex. You have to remember that Alcohol is a depressant meaning its slows down brain activity, if you drink enough of it you can stop breathing.

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Ifeelmust-

You gotta drink an awful lot to die

Not necessarily. This girl obviously didn't realize her limit, and some people have higher alcohol tolerance while some have very low tolerance. This girl being 18 and she didn't know how much SHE could drink.. so she might not have had TOO much alcohol in the eyes of others but unfortunately she might have had very low alcohol tolerance.

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Ok, a launch party help on University property. Given the legal drinking age in Japan it was clear that a mix of adults and 'minors' would be there.

So why was alcohol served/available? And why was there no supervision to prevent minors from drinking alcohol.

Lets start with the Dean and walk downwards by handing some punishments out.

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Zenny-

LEGALLY, you have to become 18 to drink alcohol, but it is so widely accepted to drink once you enter college or once you turn 18.. parents and 18-year-olds might go to izakaya together when they enter college, or some 18-year-olds might treat their parents at Izakaya with their first pay check and kampai with beer..

I'm not saying it is good to drink underage, but there was even an argument and government once discussed the possibility of lowering the official drinking age..

18 is minor, but not children.. i don't think any universities would say No to bringing alcohol to a school party..

it is sad but i'd say this was an accident, and people who have just started drinking alcohol should take it easy and not drink much... Drink little first and learn what your limit is...

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I agree with gaijinfo, shame on the friends for not watching her back. As an avid partier from before even my college days, one pact my friends and I had was to keep an eye on each other. There have been many a time where I had to tell a friend to walk it off or go sit down in a quiet corner to either crash or sober up. Of course we would check up on him/her every so often. As we were all drunk, at least one or two of us would remember at different times to go check on them (which amounted to be almost every 5 minutes). I'm sure this poor girl was simply left alone until it was too late. An unfortunate accident but one that happens all too often.

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Well, we do seem to have a lot of amateur doctors on here today who know a lot about alcohol poisoning.

Please do a search and you'll find what too much alcohol does to the body, not just vomiting. As can be seen from the article, acute alcohol poisoning ain't no laughing matter. Her death was totally preventable and not accidental. Her behaviour and the behaviour of those around her helped bring about this death.

Just wondering at this time of year ... are there any figures kept of those admitted to hospital or deaths caused by alcohol poisoning here in Japan?

RIP and sympathies to her family.

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Fishy.

IIRC, the legal drinking and purchasing age in Japan is 20 NOT 18.

Either way tragic.

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Legal age in Japan - 20

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Lessons for all involved there. A lethal combination of too much alcohol over too long a time, youthful inexperience, societal group expectation, and physical inability to break down alcohol. Unfortunately she had to be the one to die and get them all thinking seriously. Sad.

Alcohol has been banned from many college festivals, but it is not quite the same atmosphere.

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You don't have to drink alot to die from alcohol poisoning. It depends more on proof and how fast it is drunk. Mix drinks with 151 rum which tastes more like a sweet punch to do alot of damage quickly. Body weight also counts so girls are more susceptible. I remember do dorm parties where several girls had to be taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning every new school year and they weren't underaged just inexperienced. Alcohol is a depressent and will depress body functions including breathing to the point that you stop. Wonder if she was drinking new alcohol energy drinks which may be even more dangerous. They keep you up and drinking when you should have passed out until you suddenly do.

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Zenny- Yes, you are correct. However, most Izakayas and stores don't check people's ID unless they look VERY young. 18-year-olds can easily buy beer, chuhai, and other alcohol beverages at most local supermarkets as well. What I meant to point out was that the LEGAL drinking age and ACTUAL age that most people start drinking in Japan do not match, and it is widely accepted -- NOT saying it's good (so you know I am NOT encouraging minors to drink alcohol).. just stating the fact.

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Lets be honest here people, underage drinking in Japan is something Japanese really just don't care about.

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Gotcha.

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The usual "iki iki" scene that you can see everywhere where you meet local students partying. Alas, no easy solution for this.

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That's a long time to be drinking for someone with little or no experience consuming alcohol. And this event was at the university where people knew that underage students were drinking. Further prevention measure, yeah and how about not promoting it!

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What a horrible way to die. I hope the dead girl can have some kind of revenge by making sure they have no more ALCOHOL allowed at this university campus, sue the hell out of this university, make some kind of national law, to prohibit alcohol sales and consumptions at all universities. RIP poor 18 girl down in Kyoto.

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Dis@

cleo@Binge drinking is becoming a serious problem in some universities

Is becoming? I think it always has been

Depends on how you define the word "is" or some sort of presidntial pardon on that word.

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Sheesh. It's everywhere.

Everyone treats getting drunk as a big lark, but they forget that the reason you're FEELING those effects is because alcohol is a poison messing with your body.

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c'mon people.. not everyone can handle alcohol.. next topic thankls..

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if you are new to drinkin....TAKE IT EASY. as time goes on you will be able to drink more and maybe even blackout. and "further provention measures" thats a joke man, if there's a will there's a way.

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Also certain foods, etc can delay drunkeness, but that needs to be taught.

How many people know that a certain drink can kill alcohol breath within 20 seconds and leave no after-smell? Peppermints are baad as cops can smell them and KNOW you been on the juice. :p Ditto for killing Garlic breath, etc.

As I said before, RIP poor girl was never introduced to proper drinking, etc habits.

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Sad news, but is it really a national news item??

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This kind of thing happens a lot in Japan. I don't know how much did she drink, but it's a pity that she has to end her life like this. The most regrettable thing is that the other people who attended the party knew she was underage of drinking, but no one stopped her drinking. In fact, obviously they must have encouraged her to drink. This is really unforgettable.

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This news is scarily. I feel so sad. I often hear like this news. 18 years old is freshman, they want to drink alcohol. It is exiting to drink alcohol. We raise tension by alcohol. However, it gives us die by taking bad way. The party exits, some people start ikki of alcohol. I often drink with friends, we often do it. I think it is dangerous, but we are enjoying and we can’t stop it. It is important to enjoying, but life is more importance. We need saying “I can’t drink more.” Drinking alcohol makes us funny, but we must consider the dangerous of it.

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