From The Mainichi
November 24 2022
FUKUOKA — Suspended prison sentences handed to the former head of a day care facility in southwestern Japan and a fellow staff member over the heatstroke death of a 5-year-old boy who was left alone in a bus in July 2021 have been finalized, the Fukuoka District Court has told the Mainichi Shimbun.
On Nov. 8, the court sentenced Yoko Urakami, the 45-year-old head of the facility in Nakama, Fukuoka Prefecture, to two years in prison, and staff member Noriko Toba, 59, to 18 months in prison, both suspended for three years. The ruling was finalized after neither the defendants nor public prosecutors appealed the verdict by the deadline, the court said.
Prosecutors had sought prison terms of two years and 18 months, respectively for Urakami and Toba. The pair faced charges of professional negligence resulting in the death of 5-year-old Toma Kurakake, who had attended Futaba Nursery School in Nakama. The Nov. 8 ruling stated that the two had “failed in extremely basic duties of care that should have been carried out as a matter of course.”
According to the ruling, the defendants locked the door of the day care facility’s bus without checking whether any children were still inside after having other children get off in the facility’s parking lot at about 8:35 a.m. on July 29, 2021. Toma was left inside the bus until about 5:15 p.m. the same day, resulting in his death from heatstroke.