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7-year-old boy killed in car crash in Fukushima

26 Comments

A 7-year-old boy was killed in a traffic accident involving two cars in Minami-Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Sunday morning. According to police, Shinnosuke Tamura died after his 43-year-old father's car crashed into another car at an intersection around 7:20 a.m.

Shinnosuke, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown out of the car and died of severe head injuries. Police said the 25-year-old driver of the other car seems to have ignored the stop sign at the intersection.

The boy's father and the driver of the other car suffered minor head injuries, police said.

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26 Comments
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Sad. Wear your seatbelts please. I very rarely see children belted up in Japan and nobody seems to blink an eye at the problem. The father should be taking some responsibility...

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Japanese drivers have been using their kids as air bags for decades! The cops should forget about the illegal parking, which harms nobody, and concentrate on stopping car with kids bouncing around loose in them!

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Why mommy and daddy wear their seatbelts and let their children remain unprotected is beyond comprehension. But wait...it's not beyond comprehension. The law exists to buckle up your little ones. The infamous j-police just haven't got the balls to enforce it. Same goes for stop signs and red lights. It's the j-police that are beyond comprehension.

S

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I really hope they play up the fact that he wasn't wearing a seatbelt in the news for this. And add all sorts of little experiments to show how it could save lives. God knows there should be more of these experiments on tv.

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This is very sad indeed to hear of a boy's life being taken by what is fundamentally a given when driving in a car. I guess it comes down to the fact that his dad lacked the discipline to make his now deceased son where his seatbelt. A common trait seen on the roads everyday here in Japan. I guess if they had the info-commercials on the TV like back in Europe, Australia or North America, parents may wake up to the horrors identified with not buckling up and/or drink driving. Though I suppose this wouldn't fit in with the whole Kawaii notion that grips Japan!!!

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the father is responsible for murdering his own son. he should go to jail.

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The father should be punished under the law, but I suppose the loss of his son is punishment enough.

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There needs to be seatbelt education in the kindergartens and elementary school. The problem with trying to get kids to wear seatbelts is that the kids don't buckle, no matter how many times you tell them to.

One time with a child in the back seat, I suddenly hit the breaks to give her a scare. Then I refused to go until she properly buckled up.

Where is the education?

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When I am out on the road. I usually see the mother and the newborn baby /child. The baby is always on the mothers lap, no seatbelt, nada. Or sometimes I see the baby or child playing jumping around in the front passenger seat like pee-wee's playhouse. If they can't control the kid in a grocery store how are they supposed to control this kid in a car ? You never know, probably this kid was hyper or a spoiled brat.

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Very selfish father... so sad.

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It is due to the 'won't happen to me' culture. Sadly the father is to blame, at least in part.

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Remember, this is a country where they moms and dads buy seat belt looseners, so that they won't be bothered by the shoulder strap. Very dangerous. Sure, the driver of the other car, if at fault as the story said, should be punished for bad driving, but the boy's father, or actually the driver of the car the boy and his father were in, should be held responsible in some way for not buckling him up. That is the main reason he is dead, not the fender bender. Sad, easily preventable death.

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Japanese drivers are simply accidents waiting to happen. Every day without fail you can see children jumping around in cars, the parents believing of course that they are perfectly safe. Yes they need education on road safety! but this is not the root of the problem. The root lies in the way the people of Japan are educated along with their cultural beliefs. follow the one path, dont look to the left or the right. A society that is unable to think for themselves if it means wavering of the path. Controled by central government and local government to think and behave in a way that they can be controled. If the government tell the people to buckle up and stop running red lights then they will, because they are used to conforming. Of course they could do this without being told to but after too many years in Japan I see that the people lack common sense and simple reasoning skills. people are going to carry on killing their children through the lack of simple common sense.

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My childhood was dominated by "Public Information" films on TV about such subjects as playing near railway lines, crossing the road, talking to strangers and wearing seatbelts. I really think Japan needs more of this information... I haven't seen these films for 30 years but I still remember them clearly enough to be cautious. Here's one of the more famous ones about seatbelts, but if you browse through the site you'll find lots more...

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/films/1964to1979/filmpage_clunk.htm

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I believe his father should be charged with murder, or the very least manslaughter. If friends of drunk people can be charged in Japan if they are involved in a crash, then its only logical that they lock away this deadbeat father. RIP Shinnosuke.

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Japanese just don't want to think about terrible things, which is why public safety campaigns rarely feature ads at prime time, i.e 7pm or so. Graphic images of the results of drink driving? No, the nation is far too sensitive, must use mosaic to block the merest hint of red stuff.

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So, what charges should the father face? Negligence resulting in death? Manslaughter? Murder? - He failed to stop at a stop sign. He failed to strap his son in. He hit another car resulting in his kid being catapulted out of the car (most likely through the windscreen), which resulted in the boy's death. Some people may think he has been punished already by causing the death of his son. There is no excuse for this kind of irresponsibility.

And, just last week there was a report about how pleased the police were that people were wearing seat belts. Laughable!
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disillusioned - not withstanding that it was the other driver who caused the accident - any of those charges would suffice. burakuminDes hit the nail on the head.

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Yes, the father takes some responsibility, but don't forget another driver broke the law also. People in general just have to treat driving more as a privilege and not a right. You have to treat it with some responsibility for yourself, your passengers, as well as for other drivers and pedestrians.

I just hope the families involved in this tragedy learn something, as well as the city in general. I actually used to live in this city and know first-hand that many children are free to roam in family cars. It's sad to see.

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Australian highway signs take the cake for shocking, although most are geared towards drunk driving (which Japan could clearly use).

That aside, while the father is, as some pointed out, undoubtedly suffering enough at the loss of his son... well, I'm sorry, but he has committed a crime by not making his child wear a seat belt, and he should be charged as such. I mean, am I wrong? Did the law not change last year to make sure 'all parties in the car wear a seat belt while the car is in motion'? I remember how shocked many of my Japanese friends were, some of whom didn't even know if their back seats had belts or not. Taxis? I'd say half or so don't have seat belts in the back.

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i think intersections must be banned they casue the problem

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A Japanese child in a car not wearing a seat-belt!!!???

Well I never!

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When my 9 year old daughter was an infant my wife and I always put her in a proper car seat. In Chicago at the time it cost $75 at Sam's, but the cost was nothing compared to the safety. From 3 to now if she isn't buckled, we do it for her. If she is 40 and is my car, it will be the same, if she doesn't buckle, I'll do it for her. My car moves no where until EVERYONE is buckled up.

With that said, I cannot blame the father too quickly, perhaps the boy buckled up in the driveway, and then unbuckled along the way. When driving it is impossible to keep constant attention on your child. One reason I always have my angel in the back seat, I can check on the rear view and her at the same time, but 100% attention is impossible, especially in heavy Nagoya traffic. My heart goes out to the parents. Rest in peace little one.

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I don't know about Honshu but when I was stationed 14 years ago in Kyushu. At every rest stop they would have pictures of highway car accidents. And they have one message. "You Should Wear Your Seat Belt " in kanji. That campaign worked in Kyushu. I think they should have a billboard sign that has pictures of car crashes and a bloody scene. This will make some drives buck up. Plus it will scare the children to buckle up !!!!

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This reminds me of my own accident a year ago. Someone didn't stop at an intersection and rammed straight into me causing a double summersaulting. I can only imagine where I would have been if I hadn't put on the belt.

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Now the question I have is, should the driver of the car carrying the father and boy be punished, or should the father be punished, or both. The driver of the other car will be punished for negligent driving, I would imagine.

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