6-year-old boy drowns in irrigation canal in Miyazaki


Police said Monday they have launched an investigation into how an elementary schoolboy died after apparently falling into an irrigation canal in Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture on Sunday.

According to police, Yuya Sato, 6, was found floating face down in the canal following an emergency call from a member of the public. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for around two hours before being pronounced dead, TBS reported.

Yuya's family say that he told them he was going to play in a nearby park and left the house shortly after midday. His body was found at around 3 p.m. in the canal measuring 3 meters wide and 1 meter deep. City officials say that there was very little current in the water and that no-entry signs had been placed nearby.

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I realize Japan is a safety country, but even accidents still happen and a 6-year-old alone in a park is one waiting to happen. Sincere sorrow for the parents - losing a child is the worst possible thing that could happen - but supervision could have avoided this tragedy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Six years old and out playing alone? More so, when there is a canal nearby? Family members too busy to play with him?


0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sorry but 6 year old kids play in the park alone and with their friends all the time. My kids do, my neighbor's kids do, my parents did, and me and my friends did. Kids are always playing outside and to expect a parent to be by their side the whole time is unrealistic.

In this case, a kid went somewhere he wasn't supposed to and whether the parents told him not to go near the drainage ditch or not is unknown.

I don't think we should be so quick to blame the parents. I do feel extremely sorry for them since, like stated, it's the worst thing that could ever happen to parents.

5 ( +7 / -3 )

But but but - he is inchi-nen-sei now, so that makes it ok, right??! (sarcasm).

All last weekend my friend and I were playing telephone tennis reporting on kids we were seeing in parks without supervision. One 6 year old was also looking after her 3 year old sister - alone. The 3 year old fell and smacked her face on the ground - the 6 year old had to deal with it. My friend asked the girl where her mother was and if she was ok alone - the comment above is a quote from her: "mou ichi nensei da kara daijoubu desu".

I have just started to allow my 8 year old out to a park to practice her unicycle - one specific park I can see from our kitchen window, in a place not really open to the public because of its location. it is at the end of a dead end street, and no one comes up there unless they actually live there. I agree with Speed to a point, and it IS difficult to compromise safety with freedom. This seemed like a good compromise - freedom in a reasonably safe place where I can still watch her. But I dont entirely like it. Letting them go even a little bit is very hard!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Lack of parent common sense and responsibility strikes again. RIP little man, you are a victim of your parents ignorance.

-8 ( +1 / -6 )

So for JT posters, from what age will it be OK for kids to play alone in parks near their residence? I agree, 6 year-olds are a bit too young. Maybe from the 4th grade? (9-10 year olds) But I guess that will be illegal in US.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sorry, but my 6y/o would never be playing alone in a park or going anywhere alone for that matter. This also seems a little suspicious cos there was very little water in this canal. I hope this kid is not the victim of some nutter's foul play.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

ur disillusioned. it can happen to anyone

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So for JT posters, from what age will it be OK for kids to play alone in parks near their residence?

Its impossible to say - depends on the individual child (my 8 year old is very sensible, my current 5 year old will probably still be homebound at 16!), the local area, the park in question (does it have an open body of water? Is there a railway line nearby?), and so on. You cant put a blanket age on it. Personally I dont want my children out unsupervised really before the age of 12, but it is a very arbitrary age - it depends on what they want to do, where they want to go, who with, etc etc.

This also seems a little suspicious cos there was very little water in this canal.

I thought that too. An average 6 year old can easily stand up in the local pool which is 1m depth. But I guess if the little lad was small, or maybe hit his head as he fell in, or simply panicked. No entry signs may have been placed nearby - but was there any kind of barrier up? You cant fall into a canal unless you are right by it to start with, and if there was that possibility (eg no barriers) then I think - as sorry as I feel for the family and they must be heartbroken - he shouldnt have been there unsupervised.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have a hard time feeling sorry for these families who lose their children due to lack of supervision. Of course I don't want to sound like a monster as it is truly tragic, but this happens all too often here it would seem. I will feel sorry for the poor child who has lost his life though. If only backyards existed here where children could play freely within view of their parents away from danger I don't think we would hear about this nearly as much.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At youchien, kids are walked to and from the premises then they start school and suddenly the same kids in the space of a few weeks are now mature enough to walk alone down busy roads and god only knows what else. I too, have on a daily basis seen first graders/ second graders responsible for their younger siblings. I personally do not think that is okay. Even if your child has had the whole safety lecture drummed into them and seems mature for their age, emotionally and physically they are not prepared to deal with the unexpected. That is a parents job. I just don't understand parents who gamble like that. I am giving my oldest aged 8 more freedom. But it is a gradual thing and well within my comfort zone of what I deem to be safe. Sometimes in Japan, I felt like the kids were just thrown to their fate. I also felt that some parents were just lazy and putting their own needs above their kids.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I guess Yuya,s parents are allready tearing themselves apart with their thoughts, If only, RIP little one

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember when I was a kid, the shortest way to the park was to follow the canal probably similar to this one. Since it wasn't on open land until the park, you had to grab peoples' walls as you went until you got to the park. One time at the park a kid tried to ride his bicycle across one of the beams and fell. He was holding the bicycle with his legs until an adult rushed over and pulled him to safety. Today the canal is covered and is a path and the park is no longer this nice open area but a developed park. There are no more farms in the area and even the sento is closed. Once a dud fell where bicycles stands are by the station although that was before my time. Kids will be kids and accidents will happen whether drowning in a shallow canal or getting hit by a car. Live you life to the fullest since today may be your last at whatever age.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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