Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

3-year-old girl dies after being left in bus for 5 hours


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.


©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

This is unforgivable and the negligent parties must be punished with the full force of the law.

People in their 70’s are most likely not capable of being able to be able to be in charge of kiddies of this age,

Action needs to be taken immediately by the authorities to prevent another incident.

6 ( +31 / -25 )

What an avoidable tragedy! The poor parents!

33 ( +36 / -3 )

They have just shown a photo of the school bus on TV. It was a minibus with a vinyl wrap over the windows. Cannot get my head around how someone could miss one child in such a small bus. So sad.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

a staff member in her 70s had also boarded the vehicle with the kindergarten principal in his 70s in the driver's seat.

Staff members in their 70s have to take care of kids in a kindergarten?

Most people in their 70s can not even take care of themselves so how the hell are they allowed to take care of kids? And I guess from morning to afternoon every day.

And how the hell can somebody in his 70s drive a kindergarten bus?

That is completely irresponsible!

Many old drivers here in Japan are a very high risk for the safety driving in Japan.

Sometimes when I take a taxi and I see how old my driver is, I start to pray that I can reach my destination without an accident.

And this guy in his 70s is driving a kindergarten Bus?

Unbelievable and irresponsible!

2 ( +23 / -21 )


This is the world we live in and if you criticise this madness you are called ageist.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

Its so sad to read about another dearh like this after the one in Fukuoka. These should not happen.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Didn’t the same thing happen a few months ago?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Quite apart from the almost impossible feat of missing the child on the bus, what did the teacher or school do, or not do, when the child did not appear in the classroom. The parents should have been contacted immediately if they thought she hadn't boarded the bus and a quick resolution should have found. What on earth was their response.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Unforgivable. The driver effectively has TWO important jobs each day : check the bus for kids at the end of the journey. It isn't rocket science and is the most crucial part of the job description.

Jail time absolutely must be given to at least the driver. Life ban from working with children.

Rest in Peace to poor little China.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

A lot of people still have to work in their seventies because they just can’t live with their ridiculously low Japanese pensions.

25 ( +29 / -4 )


14 ( +15 / -1 )

Every year without fail, every month without fail, the news report about children being left in the bus. Yet, the people whose work directly deal with transporting children, just never learn do they ? Probably think "it will never happen to me".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

"Five other children and a staff member in her 70s had also boarded the vehicle "

you telling me you can't count six kids when you arrive?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

 The incident prompted the welfare ministry to send a notice to local municipalities to ensure proper measures are taken to prevent similar incidents.

And we can see now how well those proper measures were adopted, probably not even a single inspection was performed to confirm things were actually done to avoid this kind of tragedies.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I understand everyone's rage because I feel the same, but there seems to be some age bashing claiming that people in their 70s are incapable of taking care of a child. This is not true, there are people in their 70s who are perfectly capable, and this is a case of pure negligence. There are younger people who are just as guilty of leaving their children in the car or even outright killing them through abuse.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

After the Fukuoka incident, every childminding organization in the country should have been forced to implement measures to ensure this did not happen again. All that is probably needed is a piece of paper with checkboxes.

The mistakes that lead to incidents like this may be little mistakes any busy person might make. They are dealing with three year olds who may not want to go to kindergarden after all. However, Fukuoka and now this again prove how serious the consquences such "little" mistakes can have.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Most accidents happen with drivers over 70. Why would somebody over 70 be driving a bus of little children? Their bones are not fully developed so even a small accident could cause great harm.

how could you not miss a child in the kindergarten? They have roll call, lunch monitors, kids locker boxes, and staff who should know every student.

no excuse after the last time as it was on all local and national news.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Basic (and I stress the word "basic") protocols, rules were not followed. Complacency, negligence, age... all possibly related. However, these reasons or excuses will not quell that absolute anger and heartbreak the parents must be feeling.


8 ( +9 / -1 )

This exact same thing happened a couple of months ago. You would think.....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This is completely on the bus driver, and staff member that was on that bus. No ifs, and or buts. Every adult involved shares equally in fault for the tragedy.

The picture of the minibus:


7 ( +9 / -2 )

The same thing happened to a boy last summer. You would think that one tragedy would make teachers more careful.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

There must be at the very least, a headcount.

How much energy does it take to give the bus a “once over” before shutting the doors to park.

It’s not the fault of age, it’s negligence, full stop.

3 years old, left that long, and no one was aware.

This ought to be a rude awakening to parents who park their babies in daycare-

It’s a job, to them, not all care as much as you do.

Sue them out of “business”.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I do believe that 70 is too old to be driving any kind of vehicle when you have the safety of passengers concerned. I do not believe age was an issue in this particular tragedy. This is a level of incompetence that anyone is capable of doing who is not focused on doing their job. I don't know how the police will proceed with this. My condolences to the parents of this poor unfortunate child. RIP.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I am only judging by my son's Kindergarten, after roll call, the teacher tells the office if a student hasn't come and hadn't called in absent. Then the office will call the parents if all is OK by at least 10am. However, she was a bus rider so somebody should have noticed something strange among all of the staff and boss. Was this one of those unlicensed Kindergartens where kids are only faces and not names?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I'm glad I don't have the type of job that involves life and death. I couldn't keep living if my mistake ever killed anyone.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I usually leave all my car windows when parked ,down by an inch or so in summer ,so the inside temperature doesn’t go up by much

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This should never happen. Heavy punishment is needed to send a message. Children should be taught what to do when left behind on a bus. Fit alarms.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This exact same thing happened a couple of months ago. You would think.....

That is certainly what you should think. Most of us, however, know otherwise.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

NO head counts in and out of the bus?? even during lunch time or while in school the teachers did not notice her missing?? WTF! This school should be closed or dismiss all staff.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Must add that age has nothing to do with it, there are young teachers and care workers inside, This is an out of control group who lacks the sense of responsibility for these kids due to defective leadership.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Three years old? In kindergarten? A mid of three should be at home with a parent, grandparent or other responsible relative and not abandoned to be cared for by strangers.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

there are people in their 70s who are perfectly capable,

Old people are capable for one or two things at the same time, but not many things at the same time. Kindergarten school have so many kids there they have to look after for hours every day. Kindergarten staffs may forget one or two things sometimes as they are so busy all day long.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

The least that should be done is to count the kids on and off and check nobody is left on the bus-basic practiced…

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Five other children and a staff member in her 70s had also boarded the vehicle with the kindergarten principal in his 70s in the driver's seat.

There's your problem. They're too old for this!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Wait…..is this the same story from last year?

Or a completely new story?

Get your crap together day care facilities!!!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Many of the kindergartens have trouble recruiting drivers, who are paid minimum wages to pick up kids in the morning, and return kids in the afternoon, have the middle of the day off (unpaid) but can't find another job for those 2-4 hours, and are sometimes expected to help with cleaning and other tasks. It's usually only older people who can afford to do this. Turnover is high.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Poor little girl. Her parents will be haunted by her death for the rest of their lives. How could this have happened?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“Police may pursue professional negligence resulting in death in connection with the case.”

gotta love the “May” part. Shows the value of a child’s life in Japan. Oh, and the “notice” they faxed out to schools after a similar death not long ago. Well done, guys. Hope the family sues the school for a billion.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Those with low wages tend to show carelessness in their work ethics regardless of industry. Although this is inexcusable and the people involved should understand the weight they are carrying, perhaps the current system we have may be the cause of why incidents like this keep happening.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Kids get on, do a roll call and head count. Kids get off, do a roll call and head count. This isn't rocket science. All employees on the bus are responsible for all the children. Poor child.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

These things happen, but I wonder if this negligence was due to racism.

-20 ( +0 / -20 )

There must be thousands of these cases occurring throughout the year with no deaths involved.

Teach your children how to blow the horn, just in case they're stuck in a vehicle.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Okay, as far as I know, this has never happened in most nations yet Japan has had several cases of children in the care of schools has been left and dying in buses. Seriously, what is going on?!

A simple google search will find several cases in other countries. But perhaps it is more likely to happen in Japan because they have more kids attending pre-school for 3 years before regular school?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kids get on, do a roll call and head count. Kids get off, do a roll call and head count. This isn't rocket science. All employees on the bus are responsible for all the children. Poor child.

That is how you will eventually make a mistake or someone will sneak on without getting counted. You do the count and THEN check the bus to make sure nobody was left behind.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My Japanese wife vowed never to let our children attend a Japanese childcare centre after briefly working in a local Tokyo childcare centre and was surprised that she needed no formal training or regulations and that the staff were often unkind and even cruel to the children

Because of one lowly childcare center in Tokyo, I guess ALL Japan childcare centers must be horrible with terrible teachers hmmmm

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They showed on the TV the rules given to all such facilities after the fatal incident last year. So there were guidelines just not followed.

I mean the toilets in Japan have check list and you can see what time and by whom they were cleaned.

RIP little girl.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


No excuse. Guilty parties should be sent down for life.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Is this because of aging population, jobs can no longer be assigned to young wokrers?

Or is this because of riddiculously low pensions, that people in their 70ies have to work?

I'm being told that most of my pension deductions from my salary go to the pensioners of Japan and now you tell me they are still underpaid??? like wtf?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Second time. Disgraceful.

I can think of so many low cost procedures that could be implemented after the first time.

Japan Rail famously implemented the point and check method which improved the reliability of visual checking significantly.

To avoid complacency, and force a detailed check, all you need to is paint a number in every footwell. Before locking up the bus the driver needs to take a picture of every footwell number on a digital camera. That act alone is enough to enforce and remind of a detailed check.

There's maybe 5 or 6 rows in a minibus? It would take under a minute to take 10 to 12 pictures.

Or the driver has a numbered sheet of paper per seat. Before locking the bus each seat needs to have its number put on the seat.

Surely I can't be the only one to think of such low cost, low effort, non time consuming enforcements.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Again?! Unforgivable!

and those guys in their 70s might not even getting jail time because of their age. Ridiculous

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kawasaki Nursery School was raided by the District Prosecutor's Office this morning. Boxes of documents were removed. The school owner/director (who was driving the bus yesterday when the accident happened) refused to speak to reporters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

children need a lot of energy, caring and caregivers need to be physically fit with an awareness of their surroundings.

most over 70s don’t fit this criteria.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A simple google search will find several cases in other countries. But perhaps it is more likely to happen in Japan because they have more kids attending pre-school for 3 years before regular school?

In this morning « morning show » on channel 5, they mentionned 118 such case in the US but I could not catch over how many years that was. So it seems that indeed this type of tragedy happens around the world

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Some here do not like to confront to life.

Retirement age is around 65 in most countries.

Do you think it is because of financial calcul ations only ?

Would you go on a flight where all staff are over 70 ? Be realistic.

Common sense/wisdom shall tell you that there is a limit to everything involving being in charge of lives.

Of course the story as always are lacking details : was the kid without issue ? Same question for the staff ? Punishment involved ? Rules to follow ?

By the way, in all my school bus I can remember, there was a safety switch at low height to push for manual opening of door in case of emergency. Perhaps the child was too close to being a toddler to use if any, but that is also a detail to indicate.

So sad news when life of innocent children is involved.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They probably weren't doing the standard roll call /counting because there were so few kids, not just on the day it happened

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is such a tragedy and my heart felt sympathies go out to the parents.

There are a few details which should have been addressed ;

1 : Why wasn't there a headcount when the children got ON AND OFF the bus ?

2 : Didn't the teachers notify the principle that the girl was absent so they could have contacted the parents and then organised a search for her?

It is all very well for people who are not at the pensionable age yet to criticise those who are to keep working as pension schemes across the globe are so f#£%ed up which means that they have to work in order to survive.

By the way just think of how many people are killed each year by young and inexperienced drivers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In the past year then more healthy toddlers have died in hot busses and cars here than from covid during the entire pandemic. Yet mask them up for their own safety.

RIP. What an awful tragedy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 Didn't the teachers notify the principle that the girl was absent so they could have contacted the parents and then organised a search for her?

I guess not. You'd think they'd make this a requirement after the last incident, but instead the government just sent letters urging them to do better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apart from the shock of this unavoidable tragedy, my thoughts were of the responsibility that people in everyday jobs have to protect lives in their roles. A simple letup in protocol can have devastating consequences.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am sure that there were procedures that were meant to be followed somewhere, but in Japan you often see the same failure popping up again and again, with a lack of attention how to prevent future tragedies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WOW!! Rule number one should be that ALL school bus drivers at the end of shift before returning the bus back to where it will be stored, MUST perform a thorough inspection of the bus from front to back to make sure that no students are left on the bus.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese incompetence and general lack of safety measures astounds me every day. It's as if they are in a perpetual state of robotic tunnel vision. In the meanwhile, 3 year old children are being baked to death in a bus.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They were showing on the news a safety feature that they had implemented in South Korean school buses to address this issue. Basically within 3 minutes of turning the engine off, an alarm sounds. The button to cancel the alarm is at the back of the bus, so a driver must pass through all the seats to cancel it, which reminds them to check for children. If nobody cancels the alarm, I guess people passing by will hear it, or an automatic alarm sent to the monitoring center or whatever. Seemed like a decent solution and not too expensive.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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