Boy, 5, falls to death from 6th floor of Gunma apartment building


A 5-year-old boy fell to his death from the sixth floor of an apartment building in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday afternoon.

A female resident called emergency services at around 4:30 p.m. and said that the the body of a boy was lying on the roof of the front entrance porch, TBS reported. Emergency services transported the boy, who has been named as Yoshito Nakamura, to hospital where he was confirmed dead a short time later.

Police say Yoshito, who lived nearby, had been invited to the apartment block to play in the courtyard in front of the building with friends. According to police, Yoshito entered the building alone and climbed to the sixth floor, at which point he fell from the landing, TBS reported.

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Time to outlaw these dangerous apartment buildings.

RIP little boy

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Poor little fella. My heart goes out to his parents. Very sad story for a Monday morning :(

1 ( +5 / -5 )

how many times do we have to read reports of the same thing? watch your small children! RIP Yoshi

-1 ( +3 / -5 )

This has nothing to do with the apartment building, he should never have been outside playing unsupervised. So many here fail to supervise and protect their children, because they are lazy and its culturally acceptable to do so. His parents should be charged with neglect.

Five year olds cannot make good and safe choices about what they do when they are alone or with a group of other children. Im sure the hen na gaijin, "when in Japan, do as the Japanese do no matter what"-brigade will disagree with me.

3 ( +10 / -8 )


Or should the parents of his friends he went to play with be charged?

-6 ( +2 / -7 )

Five year olds cannot make good and safe choices about what they do when they are alone or with a group of other children

I think a lot depends on the child. Not all kids are the same. I trust my kids with appropriate situations as and when they prove to me they can be trusted. I dont believe in letting them run wild unsupervised, but equally I dont believe in tying them to me either.

-1 ( +4 / -7 )

Did he enter someone's mansion, go on to their clothing balcony, climb up and over? Something does not sound right here. Please investigate better.

The boy was a minor of course, but why give his name out?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Mabodofulspicy - it sounds to me like one of those buildings with no elevator, or with stair access to the upper floors. It sounds like he climbed the stairs out on to one of the landings, and then for whatever reason climbed over. Maybe he was leaning out to try and see his friends?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

How terrible. Poor boy. Not enough details given. Who was supervising the kids?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Same here Sam... Just drinking my coffee and this is what we see here...2 dead kids in two different but equally negligent situations. How irresponsible of these so called parents huh!

-6 ( +2 / -9 )

oh no! T.T RIP

-4 ( +2 / -5 )

This kind of incident makes no sense. How in the heck does a little boy die like this?? What place was he playing on? Did he climb over some kind of railing?? Anyway, RIP little boy

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

An all too often scenario. Yeah, Japan is 'the safety country', but who is gonna save them from themselves? People! People! Watch your damn kids!!!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

And yet again we read of a small child falling to his/her death from an apartment building balcony. Where were the parents? And I've no doubt the kid climbed on top of some clutter to allow him to fall over the balcony edge. As much as I think the protective nets that don many an apartment in other nations (or the net traps here and there in case someone falls/jumps) are ugly, perhaps they may be necessary here.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )


Did you read the article, he was visiting and playing with friends in a play-ground. Agree who was there to supervise all those kids?

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

This mornings news and article don't mention anything about a Balcony or him being inside a friends apartment. Sounds like he dropped from the staircase onto the concrete entrance roof.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I believe Japanese construction laws need to change. Those balconies need a screen that would protect children climbing over. He fell from the landing probably means the sixth floor stairwell which may be sort of spiral. More information.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

YEP its about time to revamp the regulations. This is the third story i read like this, once is too many.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

No screens needed, just a parent to supervise the children. In the end it was his parents responsibility to supervise him, or organise another responsible adult to do so. Their failure led to his death.

Niki, I totally believe in never leaving 5 year olds unsupervised, no matter what. No excuses. No ifs buts and maybe's. Parents who fail to do so always make excuses as to the benefits of not supervising their young and vulnerable, and write off any harm to befall their children as accidents, and unavoidable, or blame something or someone else, when all it would take to make sure their children are safe, is for them to be better parents who put their children before themselves.

-5 ( +3 / -7 )

Well, I think sending a 5 year old to a separate apartment building to play not knowing where he was or who was watching him was irresponsible (if those are indeed the facts of what happened) but I dont believe anyone who says they have their eyes on their kids 24/7.

My 5 year old has the day off school today and we have just come in from the park. His little brother (2) is also off today as I am not working. As I help the 2 year old on the slide or the swing, I am not looking at the 5 year old who is off somewhere else with all his kindergarten buddies who also turned up at the park. At one point I saw him off in the distance on the green with his mates kicking a football around. 5 minutes later I looked for him and found him back at the climbing frame. 5 minutes after that he was on the roundabout thingy. Thank God he never fell and cracked his head, or was spirited away whilst playing soccer - God knows what a terrible mother some people would think I was for allowing a 5 year old boy to run around in the park without my eyes constantly on him.

-2 ( +3 / -6 )


Thank God he never fell and cracked his head, or was spirited away whilst playing soccer - God knows what a terrible mother some people would think I was for allowing a 5 year old boy to run around in the park without my eyes constantly on him.

That's a very different scenario from leaving a young child alone at home, Nicky. Believe me. You're better mom than some people I know. Best Wishes with your beautiful family~

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can't believe he just climbed the stairs to the 6th floor on his own??? It says nothing about parents or family members, where were they? i just can't imagine what i would do if i were in that situation

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well I would not let my son, at five run, where I couldnt see him in a public space, Niki. I promise hand on heart I always had eyes on my kids at that age, in public spaces, and within the house I would always lock the balcony with a key, and dead lock the front door. Kids fall over, its part of growing up, thing is I see it exactly when it happens, and can act accordingly, rather than them being where I cant see them, and them having to find me first. If I couldnt see my young children in a public space, and had to go looking for him, I would never forgive myself for putting him in harms way. Its not like snatching, stabbings, and incidents like this never happen, is it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Poor little boy. It's taken me years to convince my Japanese wife that No it's not ok to leave our 6 yr old son with our 3 yr old daughter at home alone while you run down to the Super or leave them in the car when you run in to grab dinner even if its only for 5 minutes. Her response was always the same that' it's ok in Japan. Back home in Australia it's against the law to leave young children alone. I also understand you can't watch kids 24/7 but to have no supervision at all is not acceptable in my opinion anyway. I feel sorry for the poor little boy, his friends and the parents

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The parenting here.... sigh.

I witnessed a mom glued to her keitai yesterday in Starbucks. I timed it - because I knew she was going to be a twit mom. Sat there for 30 mins ignoring her very sweet little boy who was about three.No books, no crayons, nothing to do except walk around the store and play with the blinds. I saw this kid walk outside and thought "Nope, too many times I have had to tell mom that her kid is outside." I sat there and watched this women for five mins not notice that her child was not in the shop. When she finally realised, no panic. She got up, walked around and then looked outside - all while texting. She brought the kid in, still texting. The kid finally kicked off - and started trying to grab the phone form her so obviously it is an issue. I wanted to go and slap her. My husband sat there with his mouth open and when I said I see this all the time he was angry and made comments about some mothers here - which I agreed with for the most part. The worst thing? She was pregnant.

What idiot parent lets their five year old child head over to another building to visit friends alone? If mom or dad was home, why did they not get off their butt and walk the kid over?? Unreal though sadly, nothing surprises me here anymore when it comes to this type of parenting.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My parents said that when I was 2 I was walking alone to play at the neighbors. I'm still here, and I feel that perhaps I learned some independence and confidence.

It's important to monitor and guide children but we cannot coddle them forever.

A balance between discipline, monitoring and independence is ideal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You thinking walking a five your old kid to a different building and up stairs is coddling?! I am all for raising indept kids - I was home alone at eight - but this is just too much! Five!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Best Wishes with your beautiful family~

@BW - lovely thing to say and best wishes to yours too - your littlest is coming up on her first Christmas and New Year, hey?! Hope you have a good one.

I sat my 5 year old down earlier today and told him about this boy, and explained this is why I dont let him go to friends houses (it is an issue right now because some of his friends ARE allowed to do it). We talked about it and he said - again - he would never use the stairs and always use the elevators, and he knows not to play around on the edges of the balcony or walkways. He got quite annoyed with me actually because I keep talking going on about it! I still wont let him go out of the building, but he is recently allowed to go and play in the park in our building (we have a private park) with his sister. He is a sensible lad, and so is she. They never go out on the balcony without my permission, and we have practiced drilling for earthquakes and fires many times in preparation for when I do leave them alone for short periods. They know not to answer the door to anyone, and to answer the phone and tell anyone calling other than a few trusted friends that I cant come to the phone right now. They both know my cell phone number by heart.

However, I also talked to a friend with a boy the same age, and she says she knows her son too, and knows he is inclined to panic and do something stupid if he is in unfamiliar surroundings or in a difficult situation when she is not around. He is not ready to be left alone yet.

I know my children, and I know their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. I would never willingly put them in harms way, but I am not going to torment myself either with thoughts of stabbings and abductions the minute my back is turned - those could just as easily happen if they were right next to me on the street if someone were determined enough. I make them as safe as they could possibly be whilst still allowing them the freedom to be children. Climbing up on my parents precarious garage roof would never have been as much fun when I was 6 years old had they been watching me!

1 ( +1 / -1 )

Going to assume that thumbs down is for that mother I saw - 100% agree! Thumbs down parenting indeed!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kids around this age are very curious. Things which are obviously dangerous don't seem dangerous to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It"s ME: "Did you read the article, he was visiting and playing with friends in a play-ground. Agree who was there to supervise all those kids?"

Actually, I did read the article when it came up this morning but don't remember seeing the last part at all (that he was playing with friends). Anyway, I'm glad we agree on the supervision part. There are apartment complexes all around my neighbourhood and kids always running around and playing. Usually a see a small group of young mothers in the general area, chatting away while keeping an eye on the kiddies. But every now and then I do not, and at five I think that's a bit neglectful.

tmarie: It seems that there are a number of people going through the threads and just clicking thumbs down for all the comments, regardless of what they say or are about. I mean, one poster above simply said construction needs to change and he gets more than five thumbs down?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I work at a couple of elementary schools as the computer geek. 5-year-olds (and even most 7-year-olds) really aren't ready to be on their own without a supervising adult. I don't automatically blame the parent of the child because the parent of the child's friend might have been the one who was "watching" them. But SOMEBODY needed to be watching them and in this case this boy was not watched well enough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Follow on comment (Mods, attach it to the above post if necessary):

If the child was discovered already on the porch roof after having fell, how do they know what floor he fell from?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@NeverSubmit: I was the same at age 3 apparently, when I used to trail up the road every morning for coffee with the man at no.26. Sounds so dodgy now doesnt it?! But it was all perfectly innocent apparently - we used to watch the morning news and then discuss it over coffee - I must have been such a precocious little tyke!

Anyway - my point is that those circumstances, the road we lived in, the way all the kitchens faced frontwards, no traffic, everyone could see me walking up the road, that made it safer and again, my parents made a judgement call based on me and the surroundings.

In our neighbourhood now there is still very little traffic, many people around all the time, and is probably perfectly safe - probably - but times and attitudes have changed since the 70s. I trust my judgement, and I trust my son, but I know in my heart that right now going outside the building is beyond his limitations, and mine - I would be too worried about him.

What I see a lot here is parents given the same freedoms to exercise their own judgement, but then taking advantage of the freedom to get shot of the kids for a little while, rather than making any kind of educated decision on what is or is not appropriate. It is an ongoing battle with mine, especially as their friends seem to have so much more freedom than they do, but at the end of the day I am the parent, they are the kid, and as long as I feel I have explained my reasons to them, and give them enough freedom when I feel it is appropriate, they just have to toe the line. It is (one of) my job(s) to get them safely through to adulthood without too much trauma for them or me!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How lovely it would have been to wave goodbye to my 5 year old and let him play outside out apartment block with other kids, and my not having to stand out there and watch for hours. Thing is my inconvenience doesnt matter, what matters is that if I didnt go and stayed in my house while he played outside, he could go anywhere and do anything, and anything could have happened to him. As it was I saw when things were getting out of hand and could step in. But that is just me.

Many times I saw other children left outside to play at 3 to 5 years of age, and getting into scrapes, and their parents or a supervising adult nowhere to be seen. Its actually horrifying that anyone could believe that a five year old is capable of caring for themselves for any amount of time without supervision, but as long as it aint my kid....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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