Baby left in car dies while mother plays pachinko

MIE —

Police in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, said Friday they have arrested a 45-year-old woman over the death of her 5-month-old son whom she left in her car for more than three hours while she played pachinko.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Takako Sato, left her baby son Ryosuke in the car in the parking lot outside the pachinko parlor for around three hours from 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Fuji TV reported. The car’s engine was not running and the windows were closed.

The local meteorological observatory said that the temperature outside at about 3 p.m. was 32.9 degrees, but inside the car, it would have been much higher. Ryosuke is believed to have died of heat stroke, police said.

Police said Sato will be charged with negligence resulting in death. 

Japan Today

  • 6

    basroil

    Happens all the time, and people still don't learn. They simply need to increase the penalties for leaving a child unattended in a car, and even give incentives to bystanders to report it (i.e. charge the person who left the child unattended 50k yen and give the person who reported 10%). It will quickly shoot down the rates to practically zero, and solve a host of other issues too.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    At least she's being charged... usually you don't hear about that part when moms go into play pachinko while their kids suffocate to death.

  • 30

    Riffraff

    A murder charge would be more appropriate.

  • 30

    bicultural

    She did it on purpose, plain and simple. No 45 year old is stupid enough not to know that it is going to be very hot inside a car in August in Japan. She should be charged with murder. Lowlifes who spend all of their time and money on pachinko should not be responsible for another human life.

  • 11

    smithinjapan

    bicultural and Riffraff: I agree with you both, 100%. I just hope she has no other children, not only because the woman is clearly not fit to be a parent, but also because judges tend to give shorter sentences to mothers who murder if they have another child.

  • 11

    Disillusioned

    Oh, please! Tell me this so-called 'mother' will go to jail! I cannot count the amount of times I have seen kids left in cars here in Japan. I also like the way the article states 'the engine was not running and the windows were up', as if to say, "if the engine was running it would be OK!" Wake up to yourselves people! The inside temp of a car can reach above 60'C in the summer. The baby didn't die of heat stroke. He was cooked! Aaaaargh!

  • 3

    2020hindsights

    Oh, it's summer in Japan. Every single year we get one of these pointless deaths. It's sickening.

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    First offence? Suspended sentence ?

  • 3

    alladin

    This is just another case of total irresponsibility!! Young Japanese mothers of today have no responsibility at all!! They don`t know how to care for kids at all. To be at a pachinko parlor for around three hours while your child is baking in a car in the hot sun, common now!! Where is her common sense!! I guess she has not much at all to do such a thing to a child. She should be put away for a very long time!!!

  • 4

    tokyokawasaki

    No one is that dumb.

    I say she intended to kill her son and made it appear she was just stupid and didn't realize the danger..

  • 1

    Ewan Huzarmy

    How many times does this sort of thing have to happen ? If parents can't be educated or responsible, how about closing down the pachinko parlours ? Surely this is the main cancer eating away at Japanese society.

  • 2

    Alohano

    Oh my....what's the typical charge and sentence for this crime in Japan? Unbelieveable...even moreso knowing it keeps happening.

  • 9

    the-grouch

    This sickens me.... the arresting officers should leave her in the patrol car while THEY play pachinko for 5 hours. Give her the same conditions, no water, closed windows and smoldering heat. But as we all know, she will show remorse (yeah right) and she'll plea guilty in exchange for a suspended sentence. What a crock of sh@t. Man this pisses me off.

  • 1

    Disillusioned

    alladin - This woman was not young at all! She is 45 (going on 12).

  • 6

    jj1980

    The car engine being off and the windows rolled up, is CLEAR and OBVIOUS evidence that this was a pre-meditated murder.

  • -11

    NeverSubmit

    Part of the problem is the no idling signs everywhere. People shouldn't feel obliged to turn off their engines.

    In many cases if it's just a 5 minute stop and the baby is sleeping I'd say it's better the keep the car running and locked so the baby can be comfortable.

  • -1

    hotbertaa

    Perhaps more regulation on pachinko? Why on earth are mothers of young born's going to pachinko? Priorities??

  • 1

    basroil

    NeverSubmitAug. 17, 2012 - 03:22PM JST

    Part of the problem is the no idling signs everywhere. People shouldn't feel obliged to turn off their engines.

    In many cases if it's just a 5 minute stop and the baby is sleeping I'd say it's better the keep the car running and locked so the baby can be comfortable.

    Considering most cars can run AC just fine on battery power alone, not even an excuse there neversubmit

  • -6

    Wakarimasen

    She is 45 and has a 5 month old baby? Isn't that a bit odd?

  • 4

    Thunderbird2

    According to the Asahi TV News site she was in the Pachinko parlour for three hours, and there are warning signs about babies all over the place. I don't normally subscribe to murder theories in these incidents, but this one just feels wrong. She MUST have registered the posters and warning signs, so to leave her 5 month old to die in a baking-hot car was surely pre-meditated.

    Apparently she was blaming it on 'parental anxiety'.

    RIP little baby.

  • 7

    Ah_so

    No evidence that it was pre-meditaded. The sort of people who spend hours in pachinko parlours are unbalanced to start with and lose track of time. These people are not rational and this sort of thing will carry on happening until the pachinko palour staff begin checking the cars in summer for children and dogs.

  • 4

    mysteriousneo

    Its not negligence. It is a murder. The same charges should be applied.

  • 4

    AlternateUniverse

    This happens so often at pachinko parlors that there should be a law requiring pachinko parlor parking lots to be covered, even if just by a permanent tent type canopy. They should also be required to have a guard who does a check of the lot every 30 minutes by law.

    This is very disheartening news. That poor baby! Why do we never read news of someone finding a baby like that and taking action?

  • 4

    AlternateUniverse

    No evidence that it was pre-meditaded.

    Then she should be able to beat the murder charge in court. But if the charge is never made, we will never know.

  • 6

    AU_user_since_1998

    I thought I wasreading a recycled news. I thought I was reading from the catche memory (offline) of my old desktop PC at home.

    This happened many times in my 20+ years of living here in Japan.

    But to be honest, we met so many Japanese mothers before in Kouminkan, hoikuen etc.. and only my wife and I were so very protective with our kids. Most of them were using their phones while they let their kids play by themselves and with other kids. Some mothers we met at the convinient stores or supermarket were shopping hurriedly because ther left their kids sleeping in their apartment. It took 15-30 minutes to to the stores and another 15 to 30 minutes to go back. Most of these mothers told us that it is a normal thing here in Japan to do those somewhat reckless act.

    My wife and I were shifting, and we didn't leave our kids or unseen for more than 1 minute.

  • 7

    LFRAgain

    Must be summertime in Japan. Another baby dead in a car because the parent(s) preferred to play pachinko.

    I agree with mysteriousneo: This isn't negligence. Considering all the public service announcements that are made every year around this time, and despite the intrinsic common sense a 45-year-old woman should possess when it comes to the insanity of leaving a 5-month-old in a car while she plays games, this is indeed murder.

  • 9

    LFRAgain

    "She is 45 and has a 5 month old baby? Isn't that a bit odd?"

    45-year-old women can't have babies?

  • 8

    AlternateUniverse

    Perhaps more regulation on pachinko? Why on earth are mothers of young born's going to pachinko? Priorities??

    Everybody needs a break. The question is not why she went to play pachinko, but why she did not have someone else care for the baby in the meantime.

  • 5

    gogogo

    I have no words for this woman, she is so wrong for this world.

  • 12

    LFRAgain

    "Part of the problem is the no idling signs everywhere. People shouldn't feel obliged to turn off their engines.

    Errrrrr... No. That is most definitely not part of the problem.

    People should possess a modicum of common sense to know that you don't lock an infant in a vehicle, engine running or not, for 5 minutes, much less three hours.

    THAT is the problem here.

  • 2

    WilliB

    Here we go again. Every summer the same horrible story. Will people never learn?

  • 3

    CrazyJoe

    There should be more employees (security) patrolling the parking lots. Many children are saved every year by the patrols, but unfortunately not everyone.

  • 8

    Samantha Ueno

    My one month old gets fussy if she starts getting hot and sweaty in the sling! I can't imagine the torture that 5 month old went through. Sickening. She should get life at least.

  • 6

    kolohe

    How about her punishment be that she stays in a car with windows up, no water and no air conditioning in mid-day outside for three hours? I'm sure she'd enjoy that too.

  • 1

    LouHiro

    what a bi+ch! I hate her!!!!

  • 1

    cleo

    Everybody needs a break. The question is not why she went to play pachinko,....

    ...but why she thought playing pachinko was so important that she was prepared to leave a baby in a closed vehicle in midsummer for three hours.

  • 12

    NeverSubmit

    Considering most cars can run AC just fine on battery power alone, not even an excuse there neversubmit

    Not true,

    The fan will turn but the compressor needs to be powered by the Engine belt. So if you turn off the engine with the A/C on the car will continue to blow cold air for about 10 seconds and then the blower will just blow in ambient air.

  • 6

    Mirai Hayashi

    A murder charge would be more appropriate.

    I totally agree, because a 45 yo woman would know that leaving an infant in a car on hot summer day without the aircon on will kill the baby for sure. That is not an accident but an intent to kill.

  • 2

    marcels

    She knew exactly what she was going...Hopefully she gets what she deserves Absolutely disgusting, every year always the same crimes ,they,re not accidents...

  • 5

    Naoko Idesawa-Ito

    Anyone who noticed babies (or animals) left in cars should be allowed (or even required) to break the windows and help them.

  • 2

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    I noticed that a lot of people leave kids and animals in cars for long periods but usually with engine running and aircon going, which is bad enough. The temperature in cars can reach 47C under summer heat, in Australia there had been research done after cases like that and enducation program to educate teens on this hence they had not had many deaths since the 90's.

  • -3

    PT24881

    Young children repeatedly suffocated in car due to negligence around the world ( pretty sure including cases killing pets etc not reported ). From a constructive viewpoint, Car manufacturers & social bodies should take action by coming up with detecting sensors ( human being, pets etc ) to alerts via alarms / mobile phones as per prefixed parameters such as temperature in car..oxygen.. ? These days when manufacturers could even come up with useless gagets such as automatic parking etc, these kinds of lives-saving devices may not necessarily help selling more cars.. wishing it could help save a few more innocent babies / pets.

  • 5

    Sir_Edgar

    Pachinko is horrible, just horrible.

    The first (and only) time I walked into a pachinko parlor, it was so loud and annoying that I had to walk out. How can one sit there for hours?

  • 0

    electric2004

    For dogs there exists a warning device that can be used instead of a collar. If it senses the dog gets too hot and uncomfortable, it sends an e-mail and a warning to a registered mobile phone.

    Well, if it works for dogs, one might think of a transfer of this idea for babies.

    If interested, google for "Wireless design" and "Warning! Your Dog is Hot".

  • 5

    jojo_in_japan

    negligence resulting in death. ?!?!

    This is MURDER.

  • 1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    I hate pachinko!! The fools that waste their time and money with pachinko !!! Like this 45 year old idiot of a woman only make me hate it more!! RIP poor little baby!!

  • -4

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Sorry, stupid mother burn in hell for all of eternity!!!

  • 4

    YankeeX

    Who says there's no gambling in Japan! They should give her at least a couple of years. Negligence at this level is MURDER!!!!

  • 2

    ojiiu812badboy

    Inside that car was a furnace, 50 degrees C or higher. They really need to bring back the "angel program" whereby parents like this could drop off their unwanted children. This "monster" just gave up on that innocent child. I can't say anything else that wouldn't censored.

  • 4

    ThonTaddeo

    There must be millions of 45-year-old women who would love to have a child but have found that their bodies are too old to conceive. And this woman -- this mother -- treats her own priceless treasure, which millions of parents would give anything to have, with such negligence?

  • 2

    the-grouch

    This womans excuse is pathetic. Ichecked him and he moved so I thought it was ok to spend a little bit more time playing... She is formally arrested for negligence and according to the law, it's a mandatory prison term. She won't get a suspended sentence. The prosecution is considering to give her a prison term instead of a suspended sentence because of her age, unemployment and condition(s) leading up to the death of her son. In this case, the prosecution is going to go all the way with this because she is showing no remorse.

  • 4

    Disillusioned

    There was a spate of these kinds of incidents at casinos in Australia a few years ago, which prompted the Oz-Gov to introduce new legislation to give the police greater powers and more severe penalties for offending parents. They also introduced security patrols in the casino car parks looking for children left in cars. As a result, there have not been any deaths of chilfren in casino car parks for many years. I should also add that, the offenders were nearly always Asian people. I think some of the ownus should go onto the pachinko parlors as well and they should be made to patroll their car parks looking for kids. I remember one from a few years ago where a young couple left their six month old baby under the seat of their scooter while they were playing pachinko. Of course, the baby died. It is a criminal offense and the pachinko parlors should be made to ensure these stupid pachinko addicts don't leave their kids in cars.

  • 1

    FightingViking

    Poor little baby ! How you must have suffered ! Rest in peace.

    I don't even leave my dog in the car without leaving all the windows open and only for a few minutes inside a parking lot - which is a little cooler than outside in the blazing sun. (No need to worry about "thieves" - he's a big guy and an ex-police dog...)

  • 1

    tsukki

    Here we go again... RIP little baby :(

  • 0

    Ali Khan

    Gather all such people who do not care of their babies and show them the documentaries of the animals, and tell them even the animals taking care of their babies

  • -7

    Thomas Anderson

    This does happen everywhere... and not just to gamblers. It happens to normal, ordinary, working people. They leave the baby in the car because they just happen to forget that the baby was in the car. Who knows, it could happen to you...

    However I would think that it's somehow worse if the parent was a gambling addict.

  • 0

    DoLittleBeLate

    Thomas, this indeed happens everywherw, but it does NOT happen to normal ordinary people. This only happens to low-life scum who have "better things to do" than look after their own children.

  • -13

    Thomas Anderson

    Can you be 100% sure that you will not forget that you left something in your car?

  • -8

    Thomas Anderson

    Well, maybe the difference is that she didn't "forget", nor she was unaware that the baby in the car. So yes, this particular person may be a terrible parent.

  • 3

    Rose Kina Kina

    Irresponsible!Even animals.birds knows how to protect their kinds but this woman,,,,ill-bred human being ......oh my! !!!.Poor child.you ought not to be born this way.

  • 3

    Rose Kina Kina

    SHAME ON YOU WOMAN!!!

  • 1

    seesaw1

    woman with no brain let alone a heart..:(

  • 1

    Sonia Allen

    What a horrible woman!!

  • 8

    lucabrasi

    What they need to do is have a single, manned entrance/exit to the car park. Any car with a child in it should be refused entry. The children aren't allowed into the parlour anyway.

    The sad bit is that I wrote exactly the same post a year ago : (

  • 2

    chuichi

    There's no way she wouldn't know that is exactly what would happen!!! Poor baby, RIP

  • 2

    Ms. Alexander

    When I got into my car at lunch, the thermometer said 45C. It was beyond scorching! To think how hot the baby must've been...how hard he must've screamed and cried...It just breaks my heart :(

  • 0

    Marilita Fabie-Fujisawa

    I went once in this department store, but before entering I noticed a baby left alone in the car in the parking lot. I notified the staff and they made all efforts and paged the mother....didn't anybody noticed that there was a baby in the car..another thing, there's one too many pachinko parlors...why is it so encouraged? I don't understand??? They even advertise it in the bus. What is the benefit to all these pachinko parlors anyway...maybe u can have a few, but it's just all around...even in the yoga building I go too, below is a pachinko parlor. Weird!

  • -1

    Ewan Huzarmy

    Scum, sub-human scum !

  • 1

    lucabrasi

    It was beyond scorching! To think how hot the baby must've been...how hard he must've screamed and cried..

    If it's any consolation, the baby very likely got drowsy in the heat and fainted before dying. There probably wasn't a lot of screaming or crying.... :(

    Still horrible though.

  • 1

    mtwildman

    Send her to the toughest prison in Japan for life...no pachinko,no air-conditioning,no heat in winter,no friends and a straw mat to sleep on in solitary...give her some time for life to feel regret for her selfishness.

  • 3

    Cos

    No evidence that it was pre-meditaded.

    Seriously : "The car’s engine was not running and the windows were closed....32.9 degrees" That's not even a case when she let the air conditioning on and it stops on the way (which is the usual pattern).

    They really need to bring back the "angel program" whereby parents like this could drop off their unwanted children.

    There are drop boxes.

    This does happen everywhere...

    Yes but no. Some people do forget a baby in a car, or even are present be under-evaluate the heat and need for hydratation.... But not on the pachinko (Japanese style) or night club parking (French style). It's their regular baby-sitting arrangement.

    they just happen to forget that the baby was in the car.

    You CAN NOT forget a baby on a pachinko parking. Tell me a supermarket, a pachinko, a onsen, an amusement park, a love hotel... but not a pach'. Tell me you forgot a dog, an iguana, a mother-in-law, a pile of gold, an atomic bomb, but not a baby. There have been so many cases that there are posters everywhere, some parlors play voice messages stopping the pachi noise every 30 minutes and waking up the zombis to tell them to check their sprogs, most of pachinkos check their parkings. She had to nearly smuggle in the baby. Did she have some sort of window films ? it's very popular here. Was the baby in a small cot instead of those big security baby seats ? I bet that would be hard to guess from outside that she had a kid on board. Or she knew the one among 50 pachinkos that was understaffed and lax about parking checking during O'bon. I hope the cops investigate it as potential voluntary child abuse. Not that would change much as the judges don't give much more for criminal neglect than for accidental.

    What they need to do is have a single, manned entrance/exit to the car park.

    The next candidate will go to park in a backstreet a few blocks away.

  • -4

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Easy fix.... Pachinko is an addiction therefore Pachinko parlours have responsibility too. I say each Pachinko establishment that has its own parking lot must run a visual check of all cars in the lot every 30 minutes. Make it a law. Put some of the responsibility on the Pachinko business itself.

  • 3

    dracpoo2

    HOW CAN ANYONE LEAVE A BABY UNSUPERVISED FOR 3 HOURS?

  • 1

    Utrack

    There should be a special place in the 9 levels of hell for people who kill their babies. RIP lil one.

  • 1

    Piotr Gierszewski

    A few more "accidents" like that and I'll start to think that it's a typical thing for Japan.

  • 1

    Rounin78

    This is outrageous!!!!!!!

  • 1

    mark monson

    So my question is, how many Joe blows walked by the auto in a three hour time period not giving a second thought to the child's condition?! I faced the Same situation here in the U.S I broke the car window ,called the cops and 2 hours lator (mom) shows up! She left the parking lot with a new pair of braclets via of the cops. The child was turned over to child protective services. In the mean time 2 woman came forward inquiring how They might gain custody of the child.If looks could kill...

  • 1

    Karen Manuel Kobayashi

    Every year such incident happens in Japan. I can`t believe parents who can risk kids just for their own satisfaction!

  • -1

    iceshoecream

    Not negligence, she murdered the child.

  • 2

    Gobshite

    Saddest thing is, these stories are not surprising any more.

  • 0

    Frank Vaughn

    Naoko Idesawa-ItoAug. 17, 2012 - 05:43PM JST

    Anyone who noticed babies (or animals) left in cars should be allowed (or even required) to break the windows and

    help them.

    In many communities in the U.S. this is allowed, Hence the next poster I am quoting . . .

    mark monsonAug. 18, 2012 - 07:49AM JST

    So my question is, how many Joe blows walked by the auto in a three hour time period not giving a second thought to the child's condition?! I faced the Same situation here in the U.S I broke the car window ,called the cops and 2 hours lator (mom) shows up! She left the parking lot with a new pair of braclets via of the cops. The child was turned over to child protective services.

    And in many communities this action is even allowed to save the life of an animal.

  • 1

    Tomoyuki Kumagai

    This summer day, air conditioning not running, window closed, for three hours? Oh yeah, of course unintentional. I am sure of that.

  • 0

    chikanagasaka

    Let,s just pray for this poor baby...

  • 1

    combinibento

    If I can copy & paste my comment from July 2011:

    "Seen this same story many times over the years, always in the summer. Only the names of the parents and cities change."

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    if pachinko will be banned it will stop happening?

  • 1

    zillywitty

    stupid mother, she doesn't know the meaning of being a mom..stupid!

  • 0

    hobart_mark

    No, the charg should be murder....

  • 0

    Tomek Pawłowski

    shock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Nothing unusual here... just deja vu all over again.

  • 0

    taj

    Did we make it all the way to the latter half of August before the first pachinko parking lot infantacide this year? If so, that's a vast improvement. (Still horrifying, but a huge improvement over 10 years ago.) Most countryside pachinko parlours started doing patrols every 30 minutes, to check for unattended babies, and many opened up baby-minding corners after a large number of deaths about a decade ago.

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