On August 1st, a 6-year-old girl passed away in the city of Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. Cause of death? ..abuse she had suffered from her 17-year-old brother. The family was economically unwell, and the mother was absent most of the time.
On the morning of August 1st, the brother came running to the closest house to the park and told the neighbors that his sister had fallen off the jungle gym. They rushed to the scene and saw that the girl was lying still in the park. The residents also reported that they heard the boy whispering, “Can they save her? Will I be blamed?”. Unfortunately, it was too late to save her life. She was dead when they got her to the hospital.
The girl had to had about 100 bruises on her body and several broken ribs, according to a judicial autopsy. The authorities from Shiga Prefecture arrested the young boy on suspicion of inflicting physical injuries to his younger sister. Which ultimately resulted in her death.The physical injuries vaguely consist of kicking her in the stomach relentlessly as well as in the back.
In custody, the boy said, “I was tired of taking care of my sister.”
On August 25, the Otsu District Public Prosecutors Office sent the case to the local family courts on suspicion of inflicting bodily injuries resulting in death. The family court also decided that the juvenile court should handle the case and take protective measures until September 7.
The prefectural government’s child consulting center said that the boy had only moved in with his sister and mother in April. The boy was living in Kyoto Prefecture’s orphanage since elementary school. She got sent to Osaka Prefecture a year later.
On July 20, the child consultation center visited the girl’s elementary school to verify her attendance during the closing ceremony of the first year. The sister and brother visited Otsu’s convenience store the next day. The girl was reported to police after asking a random customer, “Can you lend me 1,000 Japanese yen” (roughly $9) before dawn.
The boy was tired of taking care of his little sister
The police arrived at the scene and took her. They did not notice any severe injuries. However, her mother was not at home, and the prefectural cops notified the consulting center about possible neglect. On August 4, the consultation center was due to meet with the mother of the children. The center explained that there was a 17-year-old boy who was close to being an adult and decided that it was not urgent to take these two in.Insider sources claim that the family was behind in rent payments for four months. A neighbor said that her brother was kind to her sister and even taught her how to ride a skateboard.
To verify the response of the child consultation center, the prefectural government will convene a meeting of the “child abuse case verification” subcommittee. It will include lawyers and psychiatrists. The center informed Mainichi Shimbun that they could not comment on the matter at this time, as the scope of the matter is still unclear.In April, the Japanese government announced the results from the first fact-finding study on young carers. This is a survey that asked second-year students to answer questions about caring for family members. 5.7% of students in the second year in public junior high schools and 4.1% of students in a second-year full-time in public high schools answered they had a family member they care for.
Many of these respondents stated that they care for their siblings. 10%-20% of respondents said they do not have time for themselves or that it is mentally painful. Over 60% stated they have never spoken to anyone about becoming a young caregiver.The child consultation center never spoke directly with the boy or his sister. Suspicions of neglect only came after they were notified by the police from the prefecture.
Also read about A girl who got kidnapped and forced into marriage for 17 years.