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3-year-old boy falls to death from apartment balcony in Tokyo

47 Comments

A three-year-old boy died Wednesday night in Tokyo's Shinjuku after falling from the balcony of the 13th floor apartment in which he lived with his mother.

According to a TV Asahi report, police received an emergency call late in the afternoon from a neighbor who reported that a child was lying motionless on the ground outside the apartment building. Rescue workers took the child to hospital where doctors pronounced him dead a short time later.

According to police, the boy's mother had gone shopping and left him alone at the time of the incident. Police believe the boy used a chair that had been left on the balcony to climb over the railing, resulting in an accidental fall, TV Asahi reported.

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47 Comments
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3 years old and hpme alone. What a shame. To little time on the big blue marble little man.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As much as I realize the mother is grief-stricken, when will parents learn that there's a reason toddlers should be supervised at all times? I feel sorry for the mother, father, and any siblings this boy may have had but it could have been prevented.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am so tired of reading reports just like this one in JT. Ok, I don't live in a 13th floor apartment, and I don't have a 3 yo child. But surely a couple of metres of chicken wire (that's what we call it in OZ) would be cheap solution for preventing these tragedies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Heartbreaking. Mother should be punished despite the pain.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AND LEFT HIM ALONE - it`s all on her.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This death could have been prevented. I feel sorry for the kid, but not the mother.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Easy, remove all things that a child can climb onto from the Balcony, but many use them for extra storage. Air-con units, make a great jungle-gym for them as many cover them with wooden covers.

My son soon learned early the Balcony is off-limit if no parent is present and climbing on stuff/furniture/any is a big no-no from the beginning. Granted he had a 28sqm roof-balcony(5th floor) to play on in addition to the Balcony.

Another good thing to add are the burglar prevention slide-stopper for windows and french doors. Some need a key so they can can't be undone by even a 6-8yr old sans one. The child can open the door but the stopper prevents them opening more than the parent decides. Cheap and easy stuff at the local DIY, Super and even 100Yen shop.

Chicken wire is a bit excessive, IMO.

5 ( +4 / -0 )

@It"S ME - BUT - did you ever leave him alone at such an early age?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sillygirl.

He never was alone in the apartment, always a parent present(rest he was in Hoikuen, etc). But try living in a 3LDK and keeping a eye on that little rocket at every minute of day, they get into problems fast. Blink and he/she is destroying something in the next room.

But the balcony, etc had the stoppers on unless we hung washings, etc.

My guess would be that it is a single mother who works rather unusual hours(not uncommon in Shinjuku).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is anything "excessive" if it saves a little life?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

News like this makes me so sad. The little boy was probably looking for his mother and thought the he would be able to see her from the balcony. Little kids should never be left alone like this because it is frightening and dangerous to them. WHat was so urgent that she needed to go shopping right at that moment when he was asleep?

Becoming a parent is a choice, and one that more people should think seriously about. If it is too bothersom to bring a kids with you shopping, then you just shouldn't have them. If you accidently get pregnent and aren't ready, than you had better make arrangements with an orphanage or a clinic. I don't have kids yet and it is simply because I am too selfish at the moment and wouldn't be able to be the parent that a child needs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I do not want to speculate if this woman was a single mother there in Shinjuku, very possible as others here point out, but leaving a 3 year old ALONE?? Is just INSANE!! RIP little boy

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How often do we hear about these type of totally preventable accident occurring in Japan. And yes they are TOTALLY preventable, 1. what sort of parent goes out and leaves a 3yo home alone. 2. Why are lockable or child proof locks not mandatory on balcony doors? 3. Why are child proof fences similar to pool fences in other countries not mandatory around balconies in Japan. And before someone says they need emergency exits put a childproof gate on it, it isnt that hard seriously. If other countries can do it why cant Japan, l guess they just dont place as higher value on their kids lives after all to see the proof of this one just needs to look at the cars on the road and the number driving around with unrestrained kids just another example of lax, incompetent laws and poor unthinking parenting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just take the kid with you. It's your child for ****sakes. Are they that much of a problem that you don't want them around at the shop?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder if the mother would like to put the blame on the building management (like the bus tragedy a few weeks ago, or the rotating door several years ago).

As the others have already said, this case is another of those irresponsible parents putting the kids' lives at stake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too young to leave him alone....and with a chair and a balcony?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP little one, want to say a lot of things but.....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tragic. Sad. Unnecessary. Irresponsible. Self-centered. Guilty. A lot of adjectives pop up in my mind. Rest in peace, small one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP. You deserve better than to be left alone. All kids deserve the love and attention of both parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Until the government implements strict laws about parenting and minimum supervision required for young children (and enforces the rules) nothing will change.

Ignorant mothers will claim wrongly or rightly that they didn't realize etc, etc. I know toddlers can be a handful, but parenting skills along with basic common sense seem to be in desperate need.

Also, how about some basic yet mandatory relationship and parenthood classes for all senior high school children. Then similar classes should be provided by the state (health authorities) to all new parents.

This already happens in most civilized countries, so come on Japan, show some compassion and do what's right for a change. Educate and enforce to save the lives of innocent children... PLEASE

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seems like some of you are becoming numb to these articles. Just another article? Excuse me if I take issue with neglectful mothers.

I do try to keep my comments tactful and respectable. If anything is vulgar/offensive it's what happened to this little boy.

I have no sympathy for this woman. I think she should be called out cause we now have a pattern of behavior that is easy to recognize. How many children have to die before we are allowed to take them over the coals?

As usual, a selfish woman chose to go shopping for brand bags (speculative) or whatever while ignoring the safety and welfare of a small innocent child. She should be arrested for parental neglect resulting in accidental death (If there is such a charge). One thing is for sure, this was no accident. This was pure neglect.

*No expletives were used in this post.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Remove chairs??? Remove the MOTHER. 100% parents' fault. Prison for murder, child neglect. EASY, like you said

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The mother is stupid. With a child that young, you got to expect the worse. So many bad things can happen when a child is left alone. On the other side of that, what good can come out of leaving a child that young at home alone?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

According to police, the boy’s mother had gone shopping and left him alone at the time of the incident. Police believe the boy used a chair that had been left on the balcony to climb over the railing, resulting in an accidental fall, TV Asahi reported.

In a perfect world, You would think that the chair was conveniently left there..hmmm

I have zero sympathy for this irresponsible woman. screw her...hope she sees her little boy's lifeless face every single night till she dies... this is not common accident that could happen to any of us.. his death was 100% preventable, period.

and thumb me down all you want, I don't care.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

BW,

Couldnt agree more.

I disagree with the statement in the report that calls this an accidental fall, there was nothing accidental about it. There was negligence and poor decision making on the mothers part and pathetic laws on the part of the responsible authorities. I say this because for a country with so many high rise house and so many of these incidents why dont the authorities actually do something about it? Or is it to hard

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Patrick Smash

Well said. I have 4 with my husband and he has 2 from his previous marriage. Together we have 6 children at home!! Why would I gamble with their lives just because I feel the urge to buy groceries or do something by myself?! If one of them dies, so will I...so No, taking risks is NOT an option

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Until the government implements strict laws about parenting and minimum supervision required for young children (and enforces the rules) nothing will change.

Ignorant mothers will claim wrongly or rightly that they didn't realize etc, etc. I know toddlers can be a handful, but parenting skills along with basic common sense seem to be in desperate need.

Also, how about some basic yet mandatory relationship and parenthood classes for all senior high school children. Then similar classes should be provided by the state (health authorities) to all new parents.

This already happens in most civilized countries, so come on Japan, show some compassion and do what's right for a change. Educate and enforce to save the lives of innocent children... PLEASE

Well said! We hear about so many cases like this in the news and yet nothing is being done about it. In Canada, it is illegal to leave a child under 12 without supervision. In a similar case, a mother was charged with involuntary manslaughter. In Japan, until parents are better educated and child protection laws are enacted, we will continue to hear about this horrible and heartbreaking stories month after month.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She needs to be put in prison.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As as a father of 2 young bambinos, I would go crazy if anything ever happened to my kids, I have no idea what the heck this woman was thinking to LEAVE her 3 year old child HOME ALONE on the 13th floor of her condominium, it just sounds so wrong, please oh please if any of you out there know bad parents like this CALL THE POLICE!! 110 is the number here in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Oh surprise, surprise.. another death of an innocent child by some idiot mom here in Japan!

Until the laws change about child neglect and abuse, this stuff will continue. I agree that indeed, they need classes in school for raising kids. I had a class in JHS about looking after kids were we borrowed neighbors kids for the afternoon and played with them, changed diapers and the like. Also had classes on sex ed and the like. Japan is failing their innocent kids by not having such things.

And of course, the mom won't be charged with anything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How long did she go shopping for? If it's just to pick up milk at the convenience store at the bottom of the building I can imagine leaving a three year old unattended for 2 minutes.

But the balcony door should be locked.

As opposed to other posters. I feel sympathy and sadness for both the child and mother.

She made a horrible mistake but now her pain is beyond words.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tragically sad for the child and his family.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Accidental death? She left a three year old home alone and left the balcony door unlocked with a chair on it? Accident? How is that an accident? It is stupidity resulting in death!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Readers, please stop insulting the mother and accusing her of a crime. There is no evidence of any crime. Such insinuations are offensive, lower the level of discussion and reflect badly on yourselves.

"I can imagine leaving a three year old unattended for 2 minutes."

You'd be surprised at what can happen in two minutes (which might actually be 5 if there are a lot of people at the counter)

@neversubmit. Most parents would also worry about stoves, sharp objects, ofuros, who knows -even s silly kid falling headfirst into a toilet, stranger at the door, etc etc etc.

Most kids get injured at home. Maybe you don't have kids, but there always comes the day when the young kid learns how to unlock a door, drag a chair etc. This poor kid died because the mother wasn't thinking even about the obvious. In fact it's so absurd that I immediately thought the Patrick Smash angle too.

But if it was an honest mistake ...man, a 12 yr old baby sitter would know better. Ironic that people can go to youchien, 12 years of school, maybe juku, maybe another 2 or 4 years after that, and still have less ability at basic things than some people who went to school for 6 years or less. Don't people have the ability to just think?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And even if you thought everything was totally safe, there's still the thought of an earthquake.

In other words, Neversubmit, most parents seem paranoid to others - but paranoia has kept my kids safe thus far. Murphy's Law is especially applicable to little boys. If there's something crazy dangerous they could get up to, they probably will.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I kept thinking about this since this ugly story came up....

Can't even imagine what does it feel to fall down 13 floors without knowing what would happen... What was this baby's last thoughts or images? I keep thinking about it and if I just want to slam myself against the wall in frustration. Why would you bring a child into this world, feed him, nurture him, love him and at the end...something utterly preventable like this happens? I don't know about her, but I wouldn't be able to see another day's sunrise. If one of my babies is gone, so am I.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Stupid, stupid and the mom should have known better. Even an animal has better insticts than this. But, it is hard to believe that the mom could have expected that the kid would go out onto the veranda and take a header. Also, would ahve been hard for teh neighbors to have seen or prevented it as well.

On the other hand, I see almost daily moms with their kids roaming around inside the car compleatly unrestrained. And there was an article yesterday about a baby being ejected from the car in a crash. Cops will give the driver a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt but dont even blink when a carload of jumping kids pulls up alonside them at a light.

Unless the law starts to hold parents responsible for the most precious responsibility that can be bestowed then we shall continue to see this type of reporting. And having lived here for over 25 years I know we only hear of a VERY FEW of the tragedies that occur.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I feel nothing but compassion for the mother. There are too many haters on this thread.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yasukuni exactly. You would think after all the devastation that Japan has suffered this year. The tragic loss of human life, the suffering of families torn apart by March 11th that folk would treasure their loved little ones even more. But nope. There just doesn`t seem to be any learning curve action here at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd bet money that the kid was napping & she thought she could just run out... I though it often enough myself in the same situation but NEVER followed through- apart from common sense & sheer terror, it really does only takes seconds - family in my neighbourhood some years ago watched the sunset from their balcony on New Year's eve & in the time it took to turn their backs to go back in the apartment, the 4 year old climbed onto a table & did the exact same thing. Horrible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well you can't cure stupid, there are too many adults without basic thought and deductive reasoning skills. If your offspring is NOT old enough to fend for itself, why on earth would you leave it too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How long did she go shopping for? If it's just to pick up milk at the convenience store at the bottom of the building I can imagine leaving a three year old unattended for 2 minutes.

Never okay to just leave your kid in the house alone at the age of three. Never.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I taught at a kindergarten in Japan, 8 to a class, my class was 2-3 year olds, and 2 classes above that with kids up to 6. And even with the 6 year olds I could not imagine leaving them alone in an apartment for even 2 minutes, much less any of the 3 or 4 year old boys. Even if I think the child is capable, mature, all that stuff there are still moments when it goes all out the window in favor of their id, their impulse. And we adults need to be there to stop and redirect when that happens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So sad that the person whom the boy looked up to, loved, and trusted the most is responsible for his demise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have met this boy and the family and he was a delightful and popular child, and well looked after. There's not enough information in the story to draw conclusions about who, if anyone, is to blame. Everyone makes mistakes and this is just a horrible tragedy. Please be aware that your comments might be read by people close to the family and exercise restraint.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel sad for the family, the mother and the child. Yes, she should not have left him alone but to make her out to be a monster is only possible because you don't know her and it is easy to do so online. I hope you endures and doesn't kill herself. Right now the family needs love and support not invectives and hate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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