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3-year-old boy falls to death from 9th-floor balcony

23 Comments

A 3-year-old boy died after falling from the balcony of a 9th-floor apartment in Yokohama, police said.

According to police, a building management worker at the 11-story condo in Tsurumi Ward called 119 at around 4 p.m. Monday, reporting that a boy was lying on the ground after having apparently fallen from an apartment.

The boy was identified as Ryosuke Kato, Fuji TV reported. He was rushed to the hospital but was confirmed dead on arrival.

Ryosuke’s mother was quoted by police as saying she left him alone while she took her oldest son, 7, and daughter, 6, to an after-school swimming lesson. She returned about 20 minutes later. No one else was home at the time.

Police said Ryosuke was seen climbing over the 130-cm-high handrail.

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23 Comments
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Absolutely ridiculous. Mother left the poor boy alone, no excuses!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I've said this time and time again, but if I had a dollar for everytime I've read an article literally identical to this, I'd be a rich, if somewhat depressed man.

Seriously, why does this keep happening? Can somebody please tell me? If this happened more than a couple of times in any other country, there would soon be measures taken to stem it, at the very least some kind of PSA. I have read articles about this exact thing happening almost monthly, for several years now. HOW does it keep happening?

You'd think, given the desperate need for more children, that the Japanese would be extremely careful about these things being allowed to happen, given the paranoid level to which they obsess over/try to ensure 'safety' in other areas.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

What kind of irresponsible idiot leaves a three year old at home alone? It's actually illegal, not that anybody would know because many people still do it. Will the mother be charged under the child abuse laws? Of course not! I would like to say, "Rest in peace" to little Ryosuke, but it would be very difficult for him to do so knowing he is dead because of his mother's irresponsibility and stupidity!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just shocking news, Rest in Peace, Ryosuke.

Just as many train stations are now installing barriers to prevent tragedies - perhaps all apartments over 2 stories high should have mandatory netting surrounding them? It would prevent such deaths, as well as stopping jumpers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ryosuke’s mother was quoted by police as saying she left him alone while she took her oldest son, 7, and daughter, 6, to an after-school swimming lesson.

Lady, why didn't you just take him with you? He'd be alive now.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Why didn't she take him with her? 6 and 7 are old enough to walk.

This happens way too much. Your children should be the number one priority for you.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Oh, geez. What an utter waste of life. This was not an accident. This was negligence. And it is criminal in Japan, I think, given the circumstances.

What is also very likely is that this family, in addition to losing this young lad, is in danger of losing itself to guilt and blame. This will haunt all surviving members for the rest of their lives.

And, just for the record, my son is 3 years old. Leaving our son alone at home for 20 minutes??? Are you kidding me???

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Another week, another child falling to their death. RIP.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ryosuke’s mother... left him alone while she took her oldest son, 7, and daughter, 6, to an after-school swimming lesson

The poor boy just wanted to go with the rest of the family...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I guess I am the only one on this thread who feels any empathy for the mother. Posters above seem to be all perfect parents.

And zones2surf, it was not criminal negligence, unless there are some circumstances we don't know about.

If any one of you had to console that grieving family, you'd all be useless at it.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Shoulda, woulda, coulda. It wasn't a good idea to leave the kid alone at all, but hindsight is 20-20. If she came back and the kid was still completely okay this wouldn't be a news item and she probably wouldn't have thought twice about her decision as being bad. Sometimes (a lot of the time) we can only learn from mistakes. Unfortunately this one was particularly tragic.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Other than parental incompetence, one of the problems is that many windows are of the sash kind (orientated horizontally). This permits easy opening, but for taller buildings, wouldn't a hinged/pivot type be better? - Preferably with a latch which, when set, would prevent children from exiting the building permanently.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

descendent: "I hope nothing ill befalls any of you lest you suddenly see a mob of uninformed sofa-jockey judges pronouncing your GUILT GUILT GUILT."

I think everyone on here has been quite well informed, matter of fact. She left the three-year-old alone while she went out of the house with the other kids, for 20 minutes. The kid, having been left alone, fell to his death. Do tell us what we are not informed about here. Does she have omnipotence and knew what the kid was doing (and then how is she innocent?)? Does she have long distance telepathy and can usually close the windows when she uses her omnipotence to see danger? It doesn't matter what we DON'T know about the situation -- we know she is GUILTY of criminal negligence resulting in death, based on what information we have been given.

Oh, and I would never, EVER leave a three-year-old alone, let alone to go out of the house for half an hour. If I were to, you would be welcome to berate me and call me guilty of any problems that befell the child as a result. A lot of people might take comfort in the fact that they have you to defend them if they are guilty of negligence resulting in death, though.

Tahoochi: "Without knowing any background information about this family"

Please tell us what background of the family negates the negligence. If they are poor, is she less guilty? If she is a rampant child-abuser, is she less guilty of negligence? If they have a maid whom the mother knew was absent at the time, does it make her less guilty because someone is USUALLY there? What background information could POSSIBLY make this less of a case of neglect resulting in death? I can think of background information we don't know that could make it WORSE, but nothing that could possibly change the facts.

Moderator: You will not be permitted to impugn the mother on this or similar threads unless there is evidence of criminal negligence. Such posts show a lack of humanity and are not welcome on Japan Today.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@lationz

HOW does it keep happening?

I have a couple of ideas:

1 - Nobody is willing to speak out strongly enough in the media (individuals or institutions themselves) to try and wake people up to the dangers of leaving kids unattended. Stories like this happen, they are reported, then they happen again a few weeks later. Where is the horror, the outrage, the concern, the campaign to raise awareness?

2 - As a result, although not exclusively because of this, many people go about their daily lives oblivious to the dangers around them and the inherent dangers certain situations pose (e.g. Leaving a 3 year old at home alone, letting kids jump around on the passenger seat while driving - to name just two).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Asleep in a pram or stroller, or for that matter strapped into and asleep in a car seat on a definitely-not-hot day, then yeah, you can leave your child and go in a building for maybe five or ten minutes. You'll get arrested for that in the US, but I think its reasonable in Japan. My mother used to leave me in a pram outside the supermarket when I was a baby. That was the UK circa 1970.

But just leaving a child in an apartment with no-one there for at least twenty minutes? That's negligence. It would be plenty of dangers even for an apartment on the ground floor.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

77bro: "It wasn't a good idea to leave the kid alone at all, but hindsight is 20-20. If she came back and the kid was still completely okay this wouldn't be a news item and she probably wouldn't have thought twice about her decision as being bad."

This isn't on par with buying a tuna salad sandwich that may have been off, my friend. A life was lost because of an extremely poor decision.

AN Other: "Other than parental incompetence, one of the problems is that many windows are of the sash kind"

Agreed, and the suggestion of a preferable latch type is sound, but it's probably less attractive, and that can unfortunately trump safety for many. That, or it costs more to install.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That's absolutely horrible but it seems to happen quite a bit in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I could kind of understand leaving the 7 year old at home and taking the 3 year old to a lesson but not vice versa. If you could afford swimming lessons, child proof locks on the balcony doors are easy to buy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why ask Why when no one seems to have the answer this will only happen again. Just last week a little one fell but got a second chance, evidently the message isn't getting out to parents to lock windows even if they leave the children home alone!! They will get up and look for their parents and the first place they will run to is a window to see if they could see or find them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Man, I feel bad to leave my nearly 3 year old alone for 35 seconds to pop outside and put the trash out and I've child proofed and locked every bit of our apartment. I cannot imagine doing it for longer than that. One of my former coworkers had twin boys and she told me she left them at home alone even when they were babies if they were sleeping. At my surprise she then said "This is Japan, not America, they won't get stolen", as if kidnapping is the main concern about leaving a baby at home alone.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Leaving a 3 year old home alone.....REAL DUMB!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan suffers a huge deficit of something called common sense. Anyone with half an ounce of common sense knows not to leave small children alone for whatever reason. Sadly another high rise apartment tragedy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

HollisBrown

HOW does it keep happening?

J -T.Vs are interested in stuff that will increase viewer numbers and what sells here is food and stupidity from some talentless so-called talent.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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