Japan Today

2-month-old baby boy drowns in Nagano river


Police said Monday they are investigating the circumstances in which a 2-month-old baby boy drowned on Saturday after he fell into a river in Nagano Prefecture.

According to police, the boy, who has been named as Zen Okada, was with his mother and older brother playing by the Matsukawa River near his home in Iida at about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. A local resident was quoted by Fuji TV as saying that the mother was carrying the child.

The mother told police the child slipped from her grasp and fell into the river and was apparently carried downstream. She went in after the child but could not find him, Fuji TV reported.

The boy's family contacted the emergency services who arranged a search by boat and helicopter on Sunday morning. The infant's body was found around 900 meters downstream of where he was lost.

Police are currently investigating the circumstances that led up to the incident.

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If this boy is actually 2 months old he should not be able to crawl yet. How can he fall into the river? He was either placed in the river or they have the age wrong in this story. More info is needed as usual.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Must be 2 years old.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan seems to be a very dangerous place for infants and senior citizens. I thought from a cultural standpoint, Japanese mothers didn't like to take infants out of the house. I agree with kwrow2, 2 month-old babies can't crawl, something is very suspicious here.

3 ( +6 / -3 )


" Japan seems to be a very dangerous place for infants and senior citizens. "

Actually, Japan is extremely safe... which ironically makes tragic accidents like this easier, because parents are less nervous about letting small kids run around.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

NB: I assume the age is 2 years, and not 2 months.

That has to be a typo. If it is a 2 months old baby, then this would have to be murder.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

No way in hell that a 2 MONTH OLD baby human will be able to walk, run etc..and FALL into a river!! Maybe a maybe gazelle etc...but not a human infant so either something is very wrong with this story or it was outright murder by this mother. Anyway, RIP little baby boy up there in cold, cold Nagano.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

According to police, the boy, who has been named as Zen Okada, was playing by the Matsukawa River near his home in Iida at about 6:30 p.m.

A 2 month old doesn't have the ability to "play" by the river.  According to other news outlets, the baby "fell" into the river, which really sounds fishy (no pun intended), considering that most 2 month old can't even roll over onto their stomachs, or turn their heads yet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

2 months old? WTF? A two month old kid can't even roll over! Something is rather fishy about this. It leaves two questions to be answered: Was it negligence? Or, was it deliberate?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I live in Iida and was talking about this with my wife this morning. She said that in the TV report the mother claimed to have been holding the baby in her arms as she walked alongside the river and that at some point she accidently dropped him and he fell down the bank and rolled into the river. Apparently the 6 year old brother ran to a nearby house and those people called the police/ambulance etc. I immediately called "bulls**t" on the mothers story and told my wife they need to lock the mother up. At best it's negligent homicide but most likely she tossed him. I'll be happy if I'm wrong but we all know a 2 month old baby doesn'y suddenly fall into a river.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I don't believe a 2 month old baby knows how to flip over nor crawling yet.. He is still an infant crying for milk and sleeping 16 hour a day.. How could it be?

I strongly believe is another tragic, a mother kill its own baby. RIP!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Antony, your story sounds likely. No way does a two month old "play" near the river, let alone "fall" into a river. Seems like the week is on a normal course... how many more victims before the weekend??

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

no 2 month old baby can play by the river or anywhere else!!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry... but a two-month-old baby's 'play' is limited to gurgling, pooping diapers, and feeding. No way if the kid was two months old he was out playing and fell in the river. But let's say the kid was some super-human who could do so -- where were the parents while the wunderkind was playing? More likely he was let fall in the river, or the parents were playing in the river with the baby and he got caught in a current or something. Either way, there's no way this is as innocent as the story makes it out to be. Every year you hear of kids around 10 or so getting swept away by sudden flash floods or what have you, playing in places (of course unattended!) they should be. But a two-month-old boy? No way!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm not sure why WilliB's comment got many thumbs downs, what he said is 100% factually correct. Statistically speaking, it's safer than almost any country in the world regardless of your age.

On the flipside, if you were thumbing him down based on the fact that his comment seemed to be blatantly ignoring the fishy nature of a 2 month old baby finding their own way to a river, then I would understand.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Statistically speaking, it's safer than almost any country in the world regardless of your age. But once you learn how the stats here are made and manipulated, you then know that it isn't near as safe as the stats make it seem and people like to think it is.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

everyone lets stop speculating none of us were there. lets wait for full details to emerge

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The way I read the article, the child was being held by his mother as his elder brother played in the river. The child then dropped from his mother's hold straight into the river, and was carried away by the current. No need for any crawling, I think. The mother was of course stupid but I don't think there's any suggestion of murder or anything here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@J-Boh...thanks for clearing that up. So many ppl are talking about the child playing when in the article it says the mother was holding the child and the child slipped from her grasp. I got from the article exactly what you got from the article... I wonder if everyone is reading the whole thing or just the first 2 paragraphs. RIP Zen Okada...gone too soon!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The story has been updated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, this is sad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is sad in the extreme.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is sad in the extreme

. so true, hope the mother (and family) can recover from this horrible tagedy. RIP little one

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah, updated, but still no real explanation. The baby slipped from her grasp and fell into the water? Are you serious? What was she doing so close to the water and how could any mother in their right mind drop their 2 month old baby? Sorry, but it still sounds very fishy to me.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A two-month old would have been in the usual sling that either mothers or fathers have, to put their babies in. One just doesn't wander around a river with a tiny new-born in their arms. To lose a baby out of one's arms like that is unbelievable! There has to be more to the story!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Two month old "slipping" out of her hands? Sounds a bit fishy to me, especially since you know how screwed up mother's will kill their child deliberately and fabricate some story.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Things like this shouldn't happen, ugh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't believe anybody is buying this story... Poor kid. RIP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't buy the story at all, but I can understand a wriggly baby.. even at that age. Both of mine have been early wrigglers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh this is so tragic, RIP little boy...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So sad....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has 127 million people and the JT manages to find the unfortunate ones that have incidents involving dead kids. I realize that this may have been posted in the other news suppliers but I don't see this frequent child mortality reporting so featured on other news magazines

1 ( +1 / -0 )

6:30pm on a national holiday. Dads are usually with the family. 6pm is dinner time in Japan. Why do you think music is played at 5pm to call home kids across the nation. What was mom doing on a river? Nothing fishy here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

6pm is dinner time in Japan

???? Sorry, what? 6:00 is when kids are going from club to juku and dad is at work. Perhaps mom eats but there isn't a "dinner time" in Japan unless you want to think of a time from 6-11 when people eat.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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