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Two young brothers drown in Okinawa


Two young brothers drowned in a river on Ishigaki island, Okinawa Prefecture, on Sunday afternoon. The two were taken to hospital but died shortly after arrival. According to police, Ichiro Hirae, 6, and his brother Hideki, 5, who live on the island, were found by their father, 33, floating in the river around 4 p.m.

Police said the two boys were playing with a 6-year-old girl friend when they got into difficulties. The girl ran for help to her parents who notified the boys' father. Police said it was raining at the time and the river level was higher than usual.

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Where was the father??? The parenting here sometimes..

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Parenting can be a challenge in any country not only here. How many times in the newspaper have we seen similar tragedies all over the world?

You need to go to university and years of study to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or astronaut.

But even though it is probably the most important job in the world, anyone can be a parent, no prerequisite needed.

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6 years old is way way too oung to be unsupervised doing almost anything, but swimming in a river???? that is unforgivable.

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I'm sorry but there's is no way in hell that I would let my young children play around a river with noone to watch over them. Simply no way in hell!

Clear case of irresponsible parenting in my book.


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I wonder about the parenting but when I was that age I was told to get out of the house and play outside. There were creeks, lakes, rivers, cliffs, roads, animals, snakes, spiders everywhere. perilous but I came to no harm. My parents trusted me and themselves that they had taught me enough to survive. Either these boys chose to ignore advice that would have saved them or were never given good advice. I think that boys will be boys so they just made a foolish decision themselves. Cannot blame the parents. how terrible for a father to have to haul his dead sons out of a river. crushing blow that!

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Agree with romulus.

Of course we all were angels when we were young. We NEVER ventured into places we were told to stay out of(like that nice shut-down factory or the abandoned house).

Same we always went where we said we would go, parents never had to look for us.

Being a parent myself all we can do is be a guide and a role-model. But kids also need the time and space to explore things and make mistakes.

Just my view.

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bingo ! rom3...especially the part about never being given good advice.

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Yeah, very sad indeed. It is very easy to point the finger at the father, but it wouldn't be appropriate to do so. Kids will be kids, but then again, why were 5 and 6 year old kids playing in a river unsupervised. I won't even let my 6 year old daughter take a bath unsupervised. Maybe I'm just overprotective.

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But kids also need the time and space to explore things and make mistakes.

Mistakes that kill!? I would have to strongly disagree. Would you let your children swim in a pool without proper supervision? This is why we have lifeguards isn't it? Sure, let kids learn and explore but don't let the cost of making a mistake be death! Protect them for God's sake!


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Did I say that? I did tons of things that could have killed me when I was young.

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Zen Builder,

I did tons of things that could have killed me when I was young

me too. Like playing with fire. I burned down the garage. I was told never to play with fire. But I did. I lived but got a hell of a kicking from my dad. Never did that again. Not his fault. He warned me. Probably these kids are in the same boat. Its the forbidden fruit thing that we have in us.

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This is a very sad story. At the same time, however, I think Romulus hit the nail on the head. I also did some crazy things when small (elementary school). Playing with water in an old Victorian era bath tub (2nd floor above the living room). The bath overflowed and collapsed the roof, I was OK but grand-dad was knocked unconcious and electrocuted by the water coming into contact with the TV - he survived. Catching snakes (in Australia-they are basically all poisonous). Bow hunting with a target bow vs. wild pigs (and becoming a champion tree climber as a result). Emptying out fireworks to make a large explosive device (shattered some windows at home and burnt off my eyebrows). Luckily, however, I lived through it all.

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I would never have been out of site of my parents as a 5 year old if near a large area of water, especially a river where it can be unpredictable...

The unfortunate thing is that this father is going to have to live with questioning himself with "what if I had of been there?"... poor guy!

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The news report here on OTV said that the boys were playing, the youngest one got into trouble. The older boy jumped in to save him, but to no avail. That is about when the little girl ran for help.

No comment other than it was a sad day here. Poor kids. Hopefully they are in a better place.


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everton, hope your kids get to experience some independance if that is your attitude to parenting. romulas3 is spot on with his thinking

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Raising children is not a matter of black or white, good or bad. It's done in degrees. To simply equate letting kids play by themselves to irresponsible parenting isn't particularly fair or realistic and ignores the likelihood that that's just how our parents raised all of us - by giving us the independence that helped us grow into the kind of adults who know not to play in traffic.

But by the same token, neither is protecting children from certain dangerous situations draconian parenting. Odds are extremely high that our parents were keeping an eye on us in some way or another more than we thought.

There are degrees of control to parenting, and while the "plastic bubble" school of thinking is hardly desirable, as much as a parent might want to keep their child "perfectly" safe, the sink-or-swim (in all seriousness, no pun intended) approach to child rearing e.g., "let the kid go out and sort out for him or herself what is and isn't dangerous" isn't very prudent either.

Just as a parent would no more leave a bottle of open bleach sitting around within a child's reach to see if he figures out it'll kill him, most parents wouldn't leave a child to play unsupervised near, say, a swollen river during rain. And to be the kind of parent that watches or regulates their child's play in those situations isn't a cruel taskmaster or somehow robbing the child of life experience. That parent is the kind that's ensuring his or her child lives long enough to have a full lifetime of experiences.

The father shouldn't have left these kids alone in this kind of situation.

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6 years old is first grade, five years old is kindergarton. I think you guys might be displacing your memories. Do you have kids or work with them? I do both. I have a 6 year old and work with 150 4-6 year olds every week. They are very autonomous, curious, resourceful and can still pee on the floor because they werent paying attention to their own bladders. It is absurd to think children at that age can play by a river, cliff, heavy traffic, fire, etc. etc. by themselves.

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