COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
national

2 children, aged 4 and 3, die after falling into irrigation canal

91 Comments

Police said Monday that two children died after falling into an irrigation canal near their homes in Okayama on Sunday.

Police say that 3-year-old Yuhi Takeuchi and 4-year-old Naoki Toda, were playing near the channel at around 5 p.m., TBS reported. At the time, it is thought that the water level in the canal had risen to over a meter, following heavy rain.

Yuhi's mother went to search the area and found them in the water and pulled them out. They were taken to a nearby hospital where Naoki was pronounced dead. Yuhi remained unconscious until around 1 a.m. Monday, at which point he too was pronounced dead, TBS reported.

Investigators say there was a safety barrier next to the 1-meter-deep canal, but that there was a 40-cm gap in the fence through which the boys are believed to have entered.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

91 Comments
Login to comment

@UsagitoSaru. EXACTLY!!! Great post.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am sorry but 3 year olds playing outside by themselves? are some of you crazy!? how could some of you think this is ok! I work at a preschool with 2 and 3 year old children. They can't even use the bathroom by themselves much less go outside and stay out of trouble. I can't even keep these 3 year olds from trying to get into trouble. I turn around for 1 second and one of them has pulled up a stool to the water tank trying to get her own water and this happens every week thank god I can catch them in time to tell them not to do it. I can say "abunai!" all day long and they don't understand. You can't set a 3 year old child outside and say "be careful! stay out of trouble!" They don't understand and because of these mothers letting their kids off to play out of their site these babies died. I don't care if it is at a park, in my yard, whatever if I can't see my toddler in front of me playing then I am not being a very good parent if I am not telling them to get back to where I can see them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Yubara - If he was there, then it is his fault as well. If not, I don't see how we can blame him. No, I would never, ever wish that punishment on anyone at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What she did was boneheaded and I really don't mind seeing her suffer some punishment at all. But she wont.

She is going to suffer punishment alright, and let's get this straight, it's her husbands responsibility as well, the blame doesnt just sit with mom here.

Their punishment is going to be to have to live the rest of their lives with the knowledge that their lack of judgement and irresponsibility caused the death of their children.

Serves them right, but I wouldnt want to wish that punishment on any parent ever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The British and Europeans give Maddies parents a really hard time for leaving her alone in a hotel room, who in their right mind lets children play outside alone at this young age It beggars belief

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP little ones! I'm so sorry your parents did not have any common sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

unfortunate truth is Japan have high percentage of CHILDRENSDEATH due to negligence. I have 2 kids 4 and 1 1/2 and even they do play in one of the rooms in our house and I dont stay with them I do check them every now and then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dead is dead because of human error due to carelessness. Do the time if you commit the crime. Don't coddle these people so much anymore for being careless like this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But as in this case, that mother didn't just have a temporary lapse in judgement. What she did was boneheaded and I really don't mind seeing her suffer some punishment at all. But she wont. Maybe as MARIE said that if she and others like her do suffer some type of punishment, she and others like her may think a lot more carefully in the future. After all if we kill somebody because we are careless when driving we do suffer the consequences for sure, so what is the difference here? Nothing. Dead is dead through human error due to carelessness. Due the time anyway.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kevin

I am a teacher and I have 30 plus kids in my class at times - P.E. at that. Show me a parent that has 30 kids to watch and I may show some sympathy.

Also, "not being able to watch", and "letting them run freely" are two HUGELY different things.

Yes, of course. I agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kevin Lee Brooke - I think that you and I are on the same wave length. I don't have any trouble with what you are saying at all. Parents need to be punished when people willfully abuse or neglect their children. Weather or not they should be punished for a slight moment of carelessness is up for debate, I guess. But this was not a moment of like that. This mother allowed her kids to be alone for too long of a time outside. When I said that she is being punished for this, don't misunderstand, I never said that is enough punishment. If I did that was not intended. I think the comment below must be directed at Yubaru, not me. I was also a teacher for 15 years and would never dream of saying that one of the children was hurt on my watch because I was not careful. But I agree with you. Show me a parent who has 30 kids and I will show that person a lot of sympathy.

I am a teacher and I have 30 plus kids in my class at times - P.E. at that. Show me a parent that has 30 kids to watch and I may show some sympathy.

Also, "not being able to watch", and "letting them run freely" are two HUGELY different things.

Yes, of course.

Yubaru - I think you have misunderstood me. It seems that your previous post and the last post are kind of different. What I was saying was that we wouldn't let teachers off the hook so easily if the kids in their charge were injured even if they have 30 or 40 kids to put up with, so why in God's name would we let off a parent who has just two small kids? We wouldn't let that teacher off at all, was the point I was trying to make.

However in the case in the article the parents are at fault for not taking care of their children, particularly of that age. Common Sense.....not!

RIGHT. The parents are the only ones to blame here. END OF STORY.

@tmarie - I agree with you wholeheartedly, but feel we must use discretion. We don't want to punish someone who just really messed up a second and lost their child.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

**This law already exists, as others as well, enforcement is the problem. AND education.

You can create all the laws in the world but when it's the Keystone Cops that are enforcing them who you gonna call?**

Yubaru, not sure why you posted this when I said the exact same thing. Having laws doesn't mean a damn thing is a) they aren't enforced and b) there is no punishment for those who break them.

Perhaps Japan should stop with suspended sentences for child abusers? Start handing out sentences for neglect? If mom might get locked away for a few weeks for leaving Taro screaming outside on the balcony perhaps things would change? Perhaps is cops banned parents from driving if their kid isn't buckled up, they'd start using child seats and seat belts? Perhaps if mom was questioned in how her son drown while being left alone to play at the age of three and might face some sort of punishment, these 'accidents" would happen less often?

As for the stat comment... anyone who knows how cases get treated here (ie ignored), how Japan keeps stats...laughable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Stay on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let me clarify so no one thinks that I think what happened to my son was an accident, it wasn't, the kid who threw the rock didn't just magically have a rock in his hand, he picked it up and threw it with quite a bit of force. BUT the teacher was not to blame, nor the parents, the blame fell on the kid alone. He knew better but still he did it.

Things happen where people can not always be around to watch, EXCEPT in this case that doesnt count because the parents were negligent as I see it from the article alone. BUT I'll bet there is more to this story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By your logic when a sSo, bchool teacher gets into trouble because a child has gotten hurt and the teacher says, "I'm sorry, I couldn't watch them all at the same time and it happened all of a sudden", then that is okay?

Umm....I give people the benefit of the doubt many times and depending upon the situation and severity of the injury if one would happen. Yes I would, AND HAVE let the teachers and school off the hook.

My son got a concussion at school one day, how you ask? Kids were throwing rocks around and while a teacher was scolding the rock throwers another child, not a part of the initial rock throwing, picked one up and nailed my son in the head. Nasty injury, scary as hell for a while, BUT NOT THE teachers fault.

I dont heedlessly blame people for human error nor do I look to blame someone for an ACCIDENT.

However in the case in the article the parents are at fault for not taking care of their children, particularly of that age. Common Sense.....not!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, a 3 or 4 year old do not "find a way out" unless there are inadequate safeguards in place in any given situation. You are talking very generally and not being specific enough. It is entirely possible for parents to know what situation their kids are in and provide a safety net within which the kids can run freely. If it's one where the consequences are minimal you let them play and put up with the consequences, if the consequences are severe you don't. I hope. As Clemens Simon said it's about risk assessment, and as we are all saying it's really about how much common sense you have. In this case I think it shows little common sense to go and play near a typhoon deluged canal as an adult, let alone letting a 3 and 4 year old play there, supervised or unsupervised.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sandiegoluvJun. 26, 2012 - 01:43PM JST

So, by your logic when a school teacher gets into trouble because a child has gotten hurt and the teacher says, "I'm sorry, I couldn't watch them all at the same time and it happened all of a sudden", then that is okay? You will not blame the teacher at all? Remember they are in charge of many more kids than you can ever make with your one wife. It is a teacher's duty and we hold them responsible when a kid gets hurt under their watch. But we can't hold the same ruler up to parents who are just watching three or four of their OWN kids?

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

I am a teacher and I have 30 plus kids in my class at times - P.E. at that. Show me a parent that has 30 kids to watch and I may show some sympathy.

Also, "not being able to watch", and "letting them run freely" are two HUGELY different things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sandiegoluv

Fair enough. But where do we draw the line between abuse and simple neglect? Not providing ample food and nurishment is neglect, yet children can die from it. Not providing ample supervision can be considered neglect too - and as we see in this case, two children died from it.

Letting and encouraging your child to try to ride their bike for the first time, and then they fall over and break their arm is just one of the lumps of life.

But letting such young children go unsupervised while outside playing, there are just too many things that can happen. That is where the responsibility of the parent lies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back on topic please. This is not a case of child abuse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kevin Lee Brooke -

Regret and guilt are hardly appropriate punishments.

That is not what I meant to say at all. I was just stating that they will live with this for the rest of their lives, especially if they are like me, and love their children more than life itself. You might as well throw most people to the dogs if they really loved their children and made a mistake. They will not care if you throw them in jail. I certainly would not

Neglect is criminal - Or it should be, yes, I agree with you.

By your argument, this could go toward "overdisciplining" their children to the point of death. "Geee, if only I wouldn't have punched my 3-month old crying baby in the stomach so hard. I sure feel bad."

Note even in the close by a long shot. That is the most ridiculous misinterpretation today. We are talking about people who made slight mistakes in watching over their children. If you have punched or hurt your child like that, you are the lowest form of pond scum and I don't even want to breathe the same air as you. Child abuse is something I can't stomach and there are NO EXCUSES FOR IT! HANG EM!!!!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oikawa, well said. Threat assessment is my specialty too!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, by your logic when a school teacher gets into trouble because a child has gotten hurt and the teacher says, "I'm sorry, I couldn't watch them all at the same time and it happened all of a sudden", then that is okay? You will not blame the teacher at all? Remember they are in charge of many more kids than you can ever make with your one wife. It is a teacher's duty and we hold them responsible when a kid gets hurt under their watch. But we can't hold the same ruler up to parents who are just watching three or four of their OWN kids?

Does not make much sense, but I bet you this, if such a case happens you and host of others will be posting messages of hang em high, wont you?

If my child gets hurt while I am watching her, it is totally my fault. All of it. I do accept responsibility.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It must be terrible to have your child suddenly removed from your life like that. I can't even begin to imagine how terrible, but it remains a fact that your children are your responsibility. I know people who went insane, completely nuts after losing their child. Scarred for life. Some say "poor parents" others say "good for you". I guess it's practically impossible to say either without knowing all the circumstances and facts, but that doesn't take away the reality that one of the legal parental responsibilities for your children is to protect and maintain your child (others include naming your child, providing a home, and choosing and providing for your child's education). I can therefore sympathise with those posters who tend to blame the parents even without knowing exactly what happened.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

oikawa...I know it's common sense, it always was and always will be. Like I wrote previously though, there are no absolutes when it comes to raising and watching children like sandie likes to think there are.

Sure you don't put your kids in dangerous situations, sure you keep an eye on them when you are out, but kids do manage to find their way on their own sometimes and any parent that sits here and tries to tell me that they can and do watch them all the time is either lying or has their kid locked up somewhere.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As far as "witchhunts" go, I don't think any is necessary. These parents will spend the rest of their lives in a continual episode of "If only I had..."

That is going to punish them more than any amount of jail time ever will.

Regret and guilt are hardly appropriate punishments. The boys died. They trusted that their parents would fulfill their responsibility of protecting them. Neglect is criminal - at least in most civilized countries. By your argument, this could go toward "overdisciplining" their children to the point of death. "Geee, if only I wouldn't have punched my 3-month old crying baby in the stomach so hard. I sure feel bad."

That dog don't hunt.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

THANK YOU, OIKAWA. BRAVO. PERFECTLY SAID!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru

It comes down to common sense though. There are no absolutes, I agree, and as I said before each situation is different but in this case I think it's common sense to keep an eye on kids "all the time" if they are playing next to a blimmin irrigation ditch in a near typhoon. You can "keep an eye on your kids all the time" if you have to, of course you don't want to have to but if you do have to it's quite easily done, and this is one of those cases. I wouldn't let my 3 year old walk in front of me without holding my hand on a road with no pavement because the potential consequences are easily imagined and too dreadful to risk. On the other hand I'm not going to keep that firm an eye on what they're doing if they're playing in the toy room. If they do get hurt somehow I know it's not going to be that bad and will be a good learning experience. There is no reasonable threat of death in the latter situation though, which is a rather important difference..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sorry, Yubaru. I got confused. It was ka_chan who used to play on the train tracks unattended, not you. My apologies. But still. It doesn't matter. Watch your kids. Numbers are not a good enough reason to not know what they are doing when they are in your custody and not the schools. I'm sure you would complain if one of them got hurt at school because the teachers weren't watching carefully enough and said to you that it is impossible to watch all of them. You wouldn't accept that at all. Who would? But look at how many kids ONE TEACHER has to be responsible for.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Yubaru - Hey, I am not disagreeing with you at all on the last statement of your last post. Poor parenting is the only reason for this taking place. How old were the kids? 3 & 4 years old. Now answer me this. What kind of idiot leaves two children of that age out of sight, OUTSIDE??? That is exactly what I am talking about here. No, there is not a lot else, too. That is it. Did you let your kids outside at that age unattended? Bet you didn't!

You can talk all you want but you can not watch them all the time no matter how much you try.

Not even close to being true. When you are in charge of them you should have control over them. If you can't watch and control them, then don't have them. I am tired of listening to all of these lame excuses. So, what if you had three kids. It is completely besides the point and a lame cop out for parents who don't have control over their kids and don't even know how to start.

I go out with our friends all the time who have three kids. They control them. They know exactly what they are doing. Time and time again I have seen people with multiple number of kids and they controlled them. Hey, my parents never let us act up. They knew what we were doing We didn't get away with anything at all. Not one bit. But then again, everyday I see parents who are not even able to control ONE SINGLE CHILD.

Judging from what you posted earlier you were not watched by your parents as well. We never came close to do anything like you said you did earlier. And neither will any of my kids. Present or Future. Give it up, please.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

LMFAO at the nonsense in this sentence. Really? You are not mindful of what a toddler is doing at all times? Seems to me that that is exactly the age of when you can not leave them out of your sight for a moment and you shouldn't. That is why so many accidents happen, because when you turn your backs on a toddler, they get into trouble extremely fast.

I've raised with my wife 3 children, the youngest is now 14 yrs old. Been there done that. You can talk all you want but you can not watch them all the time no matter how much you try.

This incident happened BECAUSE the parents, for whatever reason, took their eyes off their kids. Intentional? I doubt it. Poor parenting? Yeah that and a lot else too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nigelboy - True that. I will give you that. Good point.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ka_chan - I have to take issue with this, "Don't be an idiot" comment. Now, that is nonsense and here is why. Everyone knows that toddlers and or small children will get themselves into trouble in a heartbeat, before you can say, "Bob's your uncle"!!

Since this is common knowledge, I think the IDIOT would be the one who is not watching their child 24/7 and extremely mindful of what their kids are doing at every moment. Sounds to me like you had many instances where your child got him/herself into trouble because you were not paying careful attention and instead of blaming yourself for that, just went with the typical, "shoganei, kodomo dakara".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All readers, please keep the discussion civil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sandiegoluv,

Like I said, we're not talking about abuse. We're talking about children dying as a result of accidents.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@nigelboy - One big problem with those figures is that only up until recently do the police actually do anything in Japan when it comes to this issue. That is well documented as well.

As Samantha said here - The thing is with Japan, only at the beginning of this year the NPA reported a few hundred child abuse/neglect cases when in factThe Ministry of Health,Labor and Welfare reported thousands. This was reported on Japan Today. I presume that the couple of hundred were the ones that were taken to court. There are thousands of cases out there that never see the light of day.

That is absolutely true.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ooops I meant to say it also bothers me to see parents get off scot-free for obvious negligence resulting in death. Child beatings and starving your little ones to death and stuff like that. It just isn't right.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@tmarie - I agree with what you said here. But what I was meaning to say was on this forum, there is no need for all this hateful revengeful talk. I would have rather seen people speak in more terms of what to do about this problem instead of the angry talk that I was reading. I agree with you though completely on what you said below which is why I am reposting it because I think it is 100% true.

It is about parents needing to know that they must look after their kids. As it is, parents can maim their children, kill them, beat them... and nothing happens to them. Suspended sentences or blame, like in this case, goes to someone else. Perhaps if the law here actually HAD punishments for neglect, more parents would start looking after their kids? Let's say, start with fining people don't buckle up their kids in the car? Move to those without bike helmets? I see so much bad parenting on a daily basis it makes me sick. More so when most mothers here are SAHM so their job IS to look after the kids FT

It also sickens me to see parents get off scot-free for neglect. I am not sure if it would act as a deterrent at all as I said earlier. I believe that there is a fine for not putting seat belts on your children here in Japan. But not buckling up your kids is such a NO-BRAINER. I have seen so many STUPID parents driving down the street with their kids in their laps or jumping around in the backseat. I once saw a woman with her child strapped to her chest and driving at the same time at the stop light. It was in heavy traffic. I was going one way and she was going the other. I asked her what she was doing and she said that the baby wouldn't stop crying if she put it in the back seat baby chair. I told her that our daughter used to cry but we either let her do so, until she cried herself out or stopped the car and took care of her until she stopped. She rolled up her window and gave me a dirty look. Oh, well. I hope the poor child didn't end up as an airbag for her dumb mother.

I am sorry but I also see so much bad parenting it makes me sick also. The "Shoganei kodomo dakara" drives me nuts.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@sillygirl - What you are saying is not so SILLY AT ALL. I agree with you 100%!!

what with all the thumbs down for people who want parents to take responsibility for their little ones? i don`t get it. never kept my kid in a bubble but at least there was someone to watch over them when they were that age. if you want your little ones to be out there unsupervised playing in canals and whathaveyou after a huge rain storm - i give you a thumbs down.

AMEN TO THAT. By the way, I think that some people thumb others down because they are guilty of doing some of things that WE are talking about NOT DOING. Or they just don't like what those people EVER SAY.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Yubara - Keystone cops? Wow, how about KEYSTONE PARENTS?????

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@sillygirl - I think there are those out there who thumbs down anyone that they just don't like. Personally, on this thread I didn't think of thumbing down anyone until Yubara and ka_chan went ridiculous on me.

@Yubara and ka_chan - Stop being ridiculous and just plain rude and use some common sense, please. You know EXACTLY what I was trying to say. But if you think it is impossible to watch one child all the time and make sure that they are playing in a controlled and monitored environment then that is your kid's problem, it sure isn't mine. We are very mindful parents and are aware of what our daughter is up to at all times and there is nothing wrong with that.

But you are talking in absolutes and the discussion is about toddlers, they don't mix.

LMFAO at the nonsense in this sentence. Really? You are not mindful of what a toddler is doing at all times? Seems to me that that is exactly the age of when you can not leave them out of your sight for a moment and you shouldn't. That is why so many accidents happen, because when you turn your backs on a toddler, they get into trouble extremely fast.

Don't be an idiot, no one can keep an eye on small kids all the time. What, do you have them on a leash

Hey, that is uncalled for and impolite. Idiot???? Do I have them on a leash?? Don't need a leash. I am mindful and watch carefully. No, I have never been in the department store and lost my kid. Maybe YOU can't keep your eye on a toddler at all times, but that is YOUR kids problem. Not mine. And yes, you can and you should. But I know where you are coming from. I see "idiot" parents (since you want to call me that) in the park, in the malls on the street and in so many other places, everyday, gabbing away, texting or just plain out to lunch mentally and not mindful of what their kids are doing. I think you mean to say, "Don't be responsible".

@ka_chan again - Sounds like very irresponsible parenting. Accidents will happen yes, but the ones that you described sounds like ridiculously HORRIFIC parenting skills in your childhood and were begging for bad things to happen. Not going to happen with my child.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Readers, other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nigelboy. That s my whole point and it isnt my own personal interpreation, its a perceived cultural one....and I use the wordperceivedbecause in Japan they do have laws against leaving kids alone, using seatbelts etc but they dont seem to be enforced. UNICEF- Every week, Germany, Italy,UK,Ireland 2 kids die from abuse/neglect. France 3 a week, Japan reported figures stand at 4 with USA up there with a 27 figure.

The thing is with Japan, only at the beginning of this year the NPA reported a few hundred child abuse/neglect cases when in factThe Ministry of Health,Labor and Welfare reported thousands. This was reported on Japan Today. I presume that the couple of hundred were the ones that were taken to court. There are thousands of cases out there that never see the light of day.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I used to explore my world back in old Mexico from around age 2?? One old guy gave me a cigaret and when I got home I puked my guts out! My mom wasn't very happy then another old man let me enjoy a full glass of yummy COLD beer!! I got home fell asleep very quiet but my mom scolded that old man too but never allowed to even get near irrigation canals by myself, which is just plain crazy !!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's say, start with fining people don't buckle up their kids in the car?

This law already exists, as others as well, enforcement is the problem. AND education.

You can create all the laws in the world but when it's the Keystone Cops that are enforcing them who you gonna call?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

People need to stop looking for revenge and try more to think of ways to fix this problem. I agree with you a thousand times over.

It isn't about "revenge". It is about parents needing to know that they must look after their kids. As it is, parents can maim their children, kill them, beat them... and nothing happens to them. Suspended sentences or blame, like in this case, goes to someone else. Perhaps if the law here actually HAD punishments for neglect, more parents would start looking after their kids? Let's say, start with fining people don't buckle up their kids in the car? Move to those without bike helmets? I see so much bad parenting on a daily basis it makes me sick. More so when most mothers here are SAHM so their job IS to look after the kids FT.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kids are more likely to die from home accidents than incidents like this. Don't be an idiot, no one can keep an eye on small kids all the time. What, do you have them on a leash? If you do, that can't be good for them. Have you been in a department store and all of sudden, "Where my kid?". When I was a kid, I used to play near the train tracks. It was next to my house. Once I even caused a train leaving the station to slam it's breaks. Man, the engineer was mad. Had a dog that was it by a train, twice. Had a friend get it by a car coming home from school, it was his fault. Lucky, he wasn't seriously hurt. Accidents happen and you can not protect people you love from everything. Things happen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I have never let my daughter out of my eyesight, ever. Either my wife or I had our eyes on her when she was that age the whole time.

I have three kids hence I know where I am coming from when I say the following here;

What you wrote here is physically impossible. There is no way either you or your wife could ever keep your child in your eyesight, either you or your wife all the time, "never let my daughter our of my eyesight, ever." Ever is an awfully long time.

With in limits, yes I would agree. But you are talking in absolutes and the discussion is about toddlers, they don't mix.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

what with all the thumbs down for people who want parents to take responsibility for their little ones? i don`t get it. never kept my kid in a bubble but at least there was someone to watch over them when they were that age. if you want your little ones to be out there unsupervised playing in canals and whathaveyou after a huge rain storm - i give you a thumbs down.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nigelboy- Is that because other countries actually punish parents for being negligent? It may be me but I haven`t read of a case here in Japan where a parent has been imprisoned or punished for basically being negligent. ( By that I mean, the away parents and kid falls off 13th floor balcony/ kid out cycling on trike unsupervised hit and killed by a vehicle kind of news.)

Perhaps the legal interpretation of "negligence" is different from your personal interpretation of "negligence".

Sandiegoluv. I think if folk are only going to make comparisions with one country, incidentally a country which has one of the highest levels of reported child neglect figures, it doesnt really reflect how Japan is doing on an international scale. Check out UNICEFs figures.

Since you mentioned it, I did.

According to "State of the World Children" in 2012 by UNICEF, the infant mortality rate and the under 5 mortality rate was near/at the bottom for Japan. (Value index 3 and 2, respecively)

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Sandiegoluv. I think if folk are only going to make comparisions with one country, incidentally a country which has one of the highest levels of reported child neglect figures, it doesnt really reflect how Japan is doing on an international scale. Check out UNICEFs figures.

As to a solution, well there are japanese professionals in this field out there trying to have laws changed over parental rights, children`s rights etc.The system needs to be a bit more proactive on checking up on reports of neglect or possible abuse. Just raising awareness about child safe environments through media and at maternity hospitals/ clinics might be a good cause. Having said that I still find it astounding that parents have to be told that going out and leaving young children home alone with such things as kerosene stoves is dangerous.

Maybe you have more compassion than I but I still do not feel one ounce of sympathy for parents who leave kids unattended, for periods of time in obviously dangerous places. It`s a bit like having a drink or two and then driving your kids home in the car with you. You got away with it that time, maybe you can again and so on. I still totally believe that a parent who very obviously left a child in a dangerous situation and was negligent in their parental duties should be punished by the law.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Stranger..... Its not just about beingstupid, its also about laxed morals and/or lazy parenting.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Personally, if you willfully abuse your child I wish you jail, jail, jail and nothing more. You are the lowest life form on the planet. If you have killed your children or severely hurt them, I don't have one bit of sympathy for you at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ Samantha - 100% right. Yes, if we hurt someone even accidentally though our carelessness, we are going to jail. It is called negligence. And it is severely punished if it is an child or adult that suffers death due to negligence. I have to admit, that I didn't think about that way. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

@nigel Yes the figures in the US are staggering compared to that of Japan. I wonder why there is such a huge gap. I know that the population is more than double but that is not a good enough reason for it being THAT MANY. But the one difference is that a lot of those people are charged with negligence and punished, whereas here in Japan, I have to agree with SAMANTHA. I have never seen anyone punished for being down right stupid. I do hope that changes. It might help, I don't know. Thanks for the figures though.

@Samantha again. I also had a friend lose a daughter to a horrible disease and I have so much more sympathy for parents like those. So much. But I also have sympathy for these parents who lose their children because they were too stupid and lived by the philosophy that, "that-will-never-happen-to-me. Trust me, they are suffering and will always have to live with, as FADAMOR put it, "If only I had...". And of course the poor children have my sympathy as well. So, Samantha what do we do? If constantly educating and reeducating parents over and over again is not going to do it, then what will? Harsher punishments? Maybe but doubtful. So, what do we do??? Such a shame and so sad.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sandiegoluv. Thank you! Yeah, I get your point but if you are an adult and you do something that puts another adult in danger or in some way caused their death, you`d be/ could be punished under the law. Why not the same with children? At least an adult could speak up or make objections, a child cannot.

Totally agree about the social workers aspect but all round the world, even the best intervention from trained social workers isn`t going to help unless the parents are willing, and able, to make better life choices. You can lead a horse to water......... .

As I said before, I`ll save my sympathy for those who lost their children to an illness or in circumstances beyond their control.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It may be me but I haven`t read of a case here in Japan where a parent has been imprisoned or punished for basically being negligent. ( By that I mean, the away parents and kid falls off 13th floor balcony/ kid out cycling on trike unsupervised hit and killed by a vehicle kind of news.)

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Fadamor- I am sorry but I`ll save my sympathies for the parents who lose their children to illness or accidents out of their control. Having spent time with a dear friend whose daughter was hospitalised with a life threatening sickness on a ward full of very, very sick children, I cannot understand how some parents seem willing to play russian roulette with their kids.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Samantha - I agree with almost everything you said. I have never let my daughter out of my eyesight, ever. Either my wife or I had our eyes on her when she was that age the whole time. Even then she tended to irk the cat sometimes. But we were there within reaching distance. Anyway, I really want to side with you and feel that parents who are neglectful of their kids should be severely punished but.....

I personally feel that the laws in Japan should be a lot stricter when dealing with negligent parents. It might just act as some kind of deterrant.

Stricter laws are not going to change anything. They are not going to act as a deterrent at all. We all wish they would and that, that would surely solve the problem, but the reality is not even close and as fadamore said before

That is going to punish them more than any amount of jail time ever will.

What we need is more aggressive social workers to see how parents are acting with their children. Maybe show them videos once a month of how other people have lost their children. Educating parents is the key here, not punishments. It is just going to punish parents even more than they are probably already suffering. A large part of me has no sympathy at all for the parents because they were being stupid by not paying attention. But I also know that they must be going through immense pain and would probably careless if you put them in jail or not. We are not talking about parents who stuffed their kids in the car to go shopping for two hours, refused to feed their kids or intentionally beat them just out of meanness. This was just an accident because of carelessness.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@fadamore

Sad story. As far as "witchhunts" go, I don't think any is necessary. These parents will spend the rest of their lives in a continual episode of "If only I had..." That is going to punish them more than any amount of jail time ever will.

That is so correct. People need to stop looking for revenge and try more to think of ways to fix this problem. I agree with you a thousand times over.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Why is this always happening here? Why are parents just leaving their kids to themselves here? I constantly see this and I am so tired of it. Isn't it possible to do something to make parents more mindful of their children and what they are doing? There must be someway of instilling a little more parenting skills in these parents. And it does not include jail time. I am sure a lot of people would like to see the mother go to jail for her neglectful actions but jail is not going to act as a deterrent at all for future boneheaded parents like this.

I am sure that the parents are suffering immensely from the pain of losing both children because the mother was stupid. I don't think the husband is going to stay around for very long after his wife just lost both of their kids.

@fadamore

Sad story. As far as "witchhunts" go, I don't think any is necessary. These parents will spend the rest of their lives in a continual episode of "If only I had..."

That is going to punish them more than any amount of jail time ever will.

That is so correct. People need to stop looking for revenge and try more to think of ways to fix this problem. I agree with you a thousand times over.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

smithinjapan

And yet again we are forced to read about how children left to play alone

Who put a gun to your head smith??

Sad all the same and too common parents leaving kids unattended.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

gross neglect by the cities to allow this to happen...

Change that to parents and i would agree.

The city is essentially admitting liability. Which is exactly why many parents here don't feel the need to be responsible for their own kids. Easier to blame it on someone else. Sick and disgusting. The only people here who should be admitting liability are the parents who were suppose to be looking after those two poor kids. You can fence everything, wall everyone in but unless people are paying attention, incidents like this will continue to happen. They can be prevented with more care from the parents.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Fadamor - Of course jail time for these parents won't change anything now, but you can say that about any crime. The parents "feelings" should be a minor concern compared to the safety of their children and the future of others. If a prison sentence was in line for parents who did things which would be classified as criminal neglect if they were done by official organisations like kindergartens and schools it would signal a shift in attitudes regarding child safety in Japan, which is pretty horrendous at the moment, and would hopefully make people stop and think before letting a 3 year old play outside with absolutely no adult supervision, which really beggars belief.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just saw this on the TV news. It is a fairly wide canal with comprehensive fences along the sides, but there is a gap at the end round a bend where two fences do not quite come together. Adults might not see even see this, but children might well slip through and play on the edge of the bank there. Normally the water is not so deep.

The city is essentially admitting liability. Apparently there are about 4,000 kilometers of canals running through Okayama, but there are several blind spots that the city was once planning to do something about. Just at this time of year the water is deep as rice fields are being fed by these channels from the river.

Just a very sad accident and maybe a wake-up call.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sad story. As far as "witchhunts" go, I don't think any is necessary. These parents will spend the rest of their lives in a continual episode of "If only I had..."

That is going to punish them more than any amount of jail time ever will.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've seen it many times, gaps in the canals where kids could easily sneak under and possibly drown... parents should have been around but even if parents WERE near kids, a kid can sneak under in 5 seconds when a parent is looking away.. gross neglect by the cities to allow this to happen... people not being proactive and sensing possible dangers until AFTER they occur, something so common here. COMMON SENSE

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If anyone watches the news you can see the the area is fenced off. Those kids had to have been left alone for a while to be able to get through the fence or climb over. The parents need to be charged with neglect. I am sick and tired of reading stories like this.

But boys will be boys. They will sneak out out while you are in the shower. Like the family cat, but sneakier, since a cat doesn't have an opposable thumb. Then they'll come back and paint the cat a garish color with the packet of Kool-Aid you accidentally left on the kitchen table....

Boys will be boys? Wow, the 1960's is calling and they'd like their excuses back. Like the family cat? You know you can protect kids and keep them safe, right? You know you can lock doors, put up barricades or say, shower when another adult is around? Three and four? No reason EVER for them to be left along for an amount of time where they can get out of a house, into a fenced of area, get in water and drown. Sorry but nope. There is zero excusing this lack of parenting.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I agree that we dont know the full facts of this story however....... I am sat in complete disbelief that some posters on here obviously think its okay to let young children, toddlers even, play outside unsupervised. It beggars belief! I used to play out all the time when I was a child but we were always watched over. Yes, children need to explore and learn from new environments but it is a parents basic responsilbility to ensure their childs safety. If that is too hard for you well, take classes to learn or dont have children. Why should some poor wee soul have to suffer because aparent` is too busy, mentally challenged or lazy to make sure this very basic component of parenting responsibility is carried out.

Unfortunately, whenever this kind of article breaks, a lot of people do assume it`s parental negligence due to incidents witnessed or read about previously. Parents who are genuinely victims of tragic circumstances are labelled the same. I personally feel that the laws in Japan should be a lot stricter when dealing with negligent parents. It might just act as some kind of deterrant.

RIP little boys.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Has anyone seen the fence around the canal? How about the 40cm gap in the fence? Was that visible from the parents' homes? How far was the canal from the homes? If anyone is responsible it is whoever maintains the fence around the canal.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

no one says lock your kids away but - heck - DO NOT let the little ones play unsupervised near such a dangerous place - which was probably not as dangerous the day before but due to the rain. i think what is missing here is COMMON SENSE.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Where there any other kids around, playing with them? We don't know... as usual there is little information in the story, which exists merely to elicit the kind of reaction from readers that it has done. Stories like this get more hits.

RIP little boys.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Bluesea: "And i have no problems letting my children do the same here in Osaka."

How old are your kids? I agree that children should be given a certain amount of lee-way to play without the parents being overprotective, but not toddlers. These moms are going to have to remember that for the rest of their lives. I'm with those that argue parents who neglect their kids as such should be prosecuted.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

i wouldn't even let my 2 and 6 year old out in the garden on there own. how close was the canal to there home? was it just outside? poor little guys r.i..p

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

You are entitled to your opinion but not the facts. How can you prove that you can never be too protective of a 3 or 4-year old.

The easiest answer for these parents would have been to not have any children in the first place. Darwin at work here.

Dad and Mom could not have been the brightest light bulbs in the bunch to allow their kids outside, near a canal, flooded or otherwise.

Losing track of a child happens yes, but not two, and not at that age. The problem in Japan is that too many parents always seem to think "never my kid" when they hear stories like this on the news or read it in the papers.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Clemens SimonJun. 25, 2012 - 04:04PM JST

CrazyJoe:

You are entitled to your opinion but not the facts. How can you prove that you can never be too protective of a 3 or 4-year old.

The continuous flow of news articles like this one is more than enough proof for me.

Excellent post. And that is all the proof we need, really. It is absolutely brainless to think that a 3-year old can be left unattended by a responsible party (and no, a 4-year old does not fit that bill) outside as they play.

As parents, we must constantly make judgement calls on when to cut the cord so our kids can experience, learn, and grow. When to let go of the bicycle even though you know they may crash and hurt themselves. When to walk home from their friend's or grandma and grandpa's house by themselves.

But I have never, in my life, even considered that letting a 3-year old child play unattended outside is a judgement call. It should be a no-brainer, for those with brains.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Like everybody else I don't know the actual circumstances of the tragic event. But as a child who grew up surrounded by cliffs water and beaches in Australia and my parents use to let us explore from a very early age younger than five. And i have no problems letting my children do the same here in Osaka. I don't think we should restrict kids because some other kids got hurt being kids. I wouldn't like it to happen to anyone but I wouldn't like my kids to be lock in a room for most days. My injures as a kid included broken arms legs teeth and many many stitches so I am fully aware of the risks. God bless the little ones and I would hate to be the future children of these parents now because any kids they do have are going to lock down like in Alcatraz for the rest of their lives RIP little ones

5 ( +6 / -2 )

CrazyJoe:

You are entitled to your opinion but not the facts. How can you prove that you can never be too protective of a 3 or 4-year old.

The continuous flow of news articles like this one is more than enough proof for me.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Let the witch-hunt begin.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I hope to God those people thumbing down those who have said they wouldn't let their 3 and 4 year olds play unattended near an irrigation canal in heavy rains never have kids. It's not as simple as "boys will be boys". It's something called common sense. There are times when you give your kids freedom and times when you don't. It's not black or white, no freedom or complete freedom.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I would be interested to know the set up here - was it in a park and the mothers were nearby? Could they have thought the kids were safe because of the barrier, not knowing there was actually a hole in the fence? Or were the mothers at home and the kids got out of the house and went to the canal by themselves without the mothers noticing?

Too many unknowns for this to be a clear cut case of neglect on the mothers part, but certainly seems to lean that way.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We can ensure our children's safety by locking them in their rooms until their 20.

Sorry for the mother and family.

My mom told me that I was playing outside by myself when I was two.

I made it to this ripe old age and I had fun when I was a kid.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

You can not be too over protective?? Sure let a one year old fend for themselves?? Some people here who have no children should not even try to comment, you never had kids, shut the hell up and listen to us who do have kids! If you do not like kids, do not bring them into this world! If you love kids, like I do and millions of do, love your kids and hey, why not over protect them, better safe than sorry, right??

0 ( +7 / -7 )

A 3 year old?? And a 4 year old???? WHO IN THE HELL WOULD LET SUCH small kids go near an irrigation canal and in the middle of a TYPHOON???? RIP poor little kids and these parents, well my guess is that they are already in hell for their stupidity!!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

And yet again we are forced to read about how children left to play alone near a river/irrigation canal drown. I could understand letting 10 year olds play alone, but a 3 and 4 year old? I realize these parents are probably suffering more than anyone should suffer, but a large part of their suffering is knowing that their neglect lead to the boys' deaths. RIP, little guys.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Gaijin

You are entitled to your opinion but not the facts. How can you prove that you can never be too protective of a 3 or 4-year old.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

RIP. :(

But boys will be boys. They will sneak out out while you are in the shower. Like the family cat, but sneakier, since a cat doesn't have an opposable thumb. Then they'll come back and paint the cat a garish color with the packet of Kool-Aid you accidentally left on the kitchen table....

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I have a 5 year old niece and a 3 year old nephew, and I can't imagine leaving them alone to play outside let alone near a canal after a heavy rainfall. Maybe it's a cynical viewpoint, but when it comes to their safety, I look for the threat in everything.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

CrazyJoe, that's where you're wrong... You can never be too protective of a 3 or 4-year-old!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

How painful to read such news in this site, over and over and over... Until laws are changed and irresponsible parents face prosecution and are given actual prison sentences, they will continue to neglect kids and pretty much let them wander around as if they were stray animals. In fact, I think pets get better treatment and protection than small children here at times. Not all parents behave like this, but there is an appalling number that does, sadly. 9, 10 year old kids are NOT the same as 3 and 4 year olds. They do require way more attention and care. I can't count how many times I have seen children as little as 1 or 2 year old walking around the street all by themselves. Mind you, I know its nearly impossible to keep eyes on them 24-7 which is why you keep them with you at all times when they are that small and young. How some parents are too busy with their own stuff and leave their kids wandering around their house out in the street is beyond me. If you can't properly take care of children, why having them on the first place? Now we have yet again two small children that died due to their parent(s) gross negligence and will have to face their demons for the rest of their lives. It should be a crime to let children die due to gross irresponsibility and neglect. RIP

-3 ( +9 / -13 )

It's a dilemma, you can't be too protective and neither should you be too unprotective.

5 ( +10 / -6 )

Who leaves children this young unattended? I don't understand the parent's logic here?

3 ( +11 / -9 )

Who in their right mind leaves a 3yo and a 4yo to play outside, unattended, near a canal?! Oh, right... The two irresponsible mother's who are now competing for their most-convincing facepalm award. They should face prosecution!

0 ( +11 / -11 )

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