From The Mainichi Shimbun
December 1 2021
KAWASAKI – In 2016, Masakazu Shimizu (9 years old at the time), who was a short-term admission at a support facility for children with disabilities in Nakahara Ward, Kawasaki City, died while sleeping. It was judged that the act of a female employee in her teens was “abuse”.
According to investigators, the boy died on December 26, 2016. It was alleged that she suffocated the boy because she fell asleep when the staff laid down on the futon in a position of holding it with her limbs in order to put the boy to sleep before dawn. The prefectural police sent documents to the staff on suspicion of being fatal due to negligence in business, but they were not prosecuted.
After that, the bereaved family and supporters requested an investigation, saying that they were “not convinced”, and the city set up a meeting of experts. In the process of the investigation, it was decided to consult the council for opinions on the Child Welfare Law. According to the City Children’s Welfare Bureau, on November 29, the council concluded that the act of co-sleeping was “inappropriate for physical restraint, which is physical abuse.” In the future, we will compile a written opinion and submit it to the expert meeting.
The bereaved family filed a petition with the prosecution examination committee, dissatisfied with the non-indictment, but in July 2021, the examination committee voted that “there was no evidence to overturn the disposition” and that it was “equivalent to non-indictment.”