2-year-old boy dies after falling into irrigation canal in Saitama


Police in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, said Wednesday that a 2-year-old boy died after he fell into an irrigation canal.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 6 p.m. on Tuesday. Fuji TV quoted police as saying they received a call reporting that a boy had fallen into the canal.

The boy’s body was found 20 minutes later about 800 meters downstream, police said. He was taken to hospital where he was confirmed dead, police said.

Police said the boy, who lived nearby, had been playing with three other children aged 4-10 when he apparently crawled through the 20-cm opening beneath a fence and then fell into the canal. The canal is about one meter wide and 80 cms deep.

Japan Today

  • 2


    On what planet is it safe to leave a two year old with a gang of kids aged 4-10. How many more kids here have to die in needless accidents before parents (moms) wake up and stop leaving their kids alone or in the company of minors who are unable to look after small children?

  • 7


    This is so sad. http://safekids.ne.jp/childaccidentreport/report13.html A "safe kids" charity claims drowning rates in Japan are 6 times higher than the UK for under 1s, 4.5 times higher for 1-4 year olds and 12 times higher for five through 14 (the source is not cited unfortunately).

    I guess this data, if true, which apparently includes drownings in the home, is confounded by the tendency in Japan to leave bath water in the tub for extended periods and also by the cool summers in the UK that discourage river swimming.

    Still, some portion of this variations is clearly down to what risk it is culturally acceptable to take when looking after kids.

    It's not just water, it's a general attitude. I see parents walking through multi-storey car parks looking straight ahead while their two year olds trail behind them like ducklings.

    If you are from a Western nation and plan on having a family in Japan be prepared for differences of opinion on how much supervision kids need.

  • 0


    Every year we seem to read about toddlers or other young kids dying in irrigation canals/storm drains around this time of year. So sad.

  • 1


    So so sad..

  • 4

    Dennis Bauer

    2 year old's should not be left alone, RIP little one.

  • -1


    cool summers in the UK that discourage river swimming. River swimming isn't done here either. I think the issue is parental supervision.

    Earth, and more specifically, Japan. You find kids drowning "safe"?

  • 6


    "It's not just water, it's a general attitude. .....If you are from a Western nation and plan on having a family in Japan be prepared for differences of opinion on how much supervision kids need."

    I'll be shouted down but, Jpn guy, if I got together over some coffee I could tell you story after story of arguments I've had with my wife over this. From kids lost in shops, walking on roads, left in ofuros at too young an age.

    Thank God there still alive and I can communicate with them.

    Those stats from the UK are interesting. This is the country that would insist on breaks in public pools even if there's only one swimmer and he's better than the life guards / but in other situation common safety sense is laughed at.

    Sorry for venting. I've seen too many crazy things.

  • 4

    Mirai Hayashi

    Bad parenting strikes again.

  • 5


    Two year olds run a risk even "with" their parents.

  • 1

    Knox Harrington


    So this boy was left in the hands of other kids by his parents? At two years old?! Too many times, this really reveals itself as a nation of kids, unable to comprehend the correlation between cause and effect. You do not leave a two-year old without adult supervision, at any time.

  • 1


    This is so sad on every level and as a parent, my heart and condolences goes out to the parents, having said that, there seems to be a pattern in Japan and the mindset that Japan is a safe country, therefore, it is ok for my kids to roam around anywhere and this is where many parents get into trouble. They don't pay attention. That kid should have never left his mothers side. My kids can NEVER go out without me or their mother and when they do, I watch them like a hawk, especially outside. Kids are extremely curios at that age especially boys, the world is so big and exciting, if your not there to guide them through the obstacle dangers that are lurking around every corner, don't expect a two year old to take the imitative. Leaving in a safe country doesn't necessarily make it safe.

  • 1


    RIP little one.

  • -1


    Rest in Peace, little Angel. I'm feeling sick in the stomach reading this awful news. In our city there are similar drainage canals alongside the roads - many of which are partially uncovered,and a toddler could absolutely fall in. I pray it never happens. One such uncovered canal runs alongside the park behind our mansion. There is no way known I'd allow our two-year-old out there without Mum or Dad - certainly not just with other little kids to supervise.

  • 0

    Jonathan Prin

    Also access to canals where most of the time there is no fence is always striking me. RIP

    He is not the first and won't be the last.

  • 0


    I think you run more risk walking down the road every day than most kids do playing in a group with friends. Do you advocate everyone stopping walking down the road? Do you call it bad living if someone walks down the road? Are people being negligent by walking down the road?

    Gee, look! A poster who wants to argue for the sake of arguing! I'd call a parent an idiot if they let their two year old walk down a road without adult supervision. You wouldn't?

  • -1


    Apparently this poor little child slipped through a hole in the fence. Most of the irrigation ditches where I have lived in Japan are not fenced or covered in anyway. Many times I have thought to myself as I walk or drove along how dangerous the ditches look. Completely uncovered and all. Anyway as far as parental supervision goes have any of you ever noticed how many two year-olds you see standing up on the passenger seat of a moving vehicle?..

  • 0


    Strangerland: I think you run more risk walking down the road every day than most kids do playing in a group with friends. Do you advocate everyone stopping walking down the road? Do you call it bad living if someone walks down the road? Are people being negligent by walking down the road?

    Talk about a strawman argument and a bad analogy to boot! Risks are an inherent part of life, however there are necessary risks, like walking down the road in order to get from point A to point B and unnecessary risks, like allowing a 2-year old to wander about near a canal with a group of children who are clearly not equipped to supervise him properly. I certainly don't advocate trying to shield children from all risks, necessary or unnecessary ones. That said, in order for a 2-year old to have a fighting chance at making it past childhood one would hope that his or her parents would be a little better at assessing what risks are truly unnecessary for the child's development due to the chance for injury or death outweighing the benefits.

    Back to your road argument, a parent may deem it necessary to walk down a road with his or her 2-year old and there would be nothing wrong with that. Where the problem would come in or the "bad living" as you put it, would be in not paying attention to where that 2-year old is on the road and doing nothing to ensure his or her safety.

    Finally, as most any parent will tell you, a 2-year old may like other children and may even have friends, as a 2-year old can but they really don't play together at that age. For most kids, until they are about 3, what they do is engage in parallel play where they may occasionally share toys or show the other what they are doing but they don't play together the way older children do. It's also quite difficult to imagine a 2 and 10-year old being friends or even a 10 and 4-year old being friends. The language, social and motors skills are just too different. So the notion that this 2-year old was just "playing in a group of friends" is undoubtedly inaccurate. Most likely he was following the other kids or one of the older kids had been charged with watching him, a task he or she was clearly not up to at that age. Again, unnecessary risks and bad decisions resulted in a tragedy not only for the dead child but the children who he was with and who will live with this.

  • 0


    Things like this will never stop happening. It was interesting to see the reporter called this event an "incident", not those non-existent "accidents". A tragic event for all who loved this tyke.

  • -1


    Who said anything about letting their kid walk down the road without adult supervision? Strawman.

    Oh, so you're okay with a two year old out and about near water with a group of kids aged 4-10 and that's all good and safe but you're not okay with a kid walking down the street without adult supervison? Riiiiiight. Arguing for the sake of arguing...

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