No More Child Death at Daycare: No-Fault Insurance Key for Daycare Death Review

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All of these children died at daycare in Japan.

We have to admit child abuse, neglect, or death is not rare in Japanese daycare and Japanese approach to preventing avoidable death is far behind compared to other countries.

My son (on the bottom to the left) died at Kids Square in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on March 11, 2016. Kent was put to sleep in the risky prone position in an empty room separate from other children because “he cried.” It seems Kent was left alone unattended for more than two hours until he was found dead around 2pm.

I want to know what happened to my son, but I am not allowed to meet with the childcare workers. I am hampered by the managers and the intricate insurance system.

Daycares in Japan are either licensed or non-licensed. Licensed daycares are entitled to no-fault public insurance. However, non-licensed daycares are not so they take out private insurance which only compensates for losses as a result of childcare worker’s fault.

As a matter of fact, daycare workers are often told not to speak by their owners who are worried about liability payment.

This results in a dire situation around daycare death in Japan. Japanese people believe infant death is natural and childcare workers are good people so police investigation is poor, municipal government is helpless, and daycare owners lie to get away.

In too many cases, children are blamed for their own death and no one had been held responsible. 

Each year, more than a dozen of infants die at daycare in Japan. In the last five years, at least 82 children died at daycare and 70% of the death happened in non-licensed daycares despite that the number of kids under the non-licensed has been only a fraction (one tenth of that under the licensed) and reporting of incidents is not mandatory for the non-licensed.

Nonetheless, the Japanese government is promoting with subsidy the expansion of non-licensed daycares to meet the exploding demand on  child care.

This quick fix solution would lead to more death.

This year, the daycare death review system has started across Japan in an effort to strategize preventative measures. However, meaningful prevention would not come out unless truth is first spoken by the witness.

We need all daycares, licensed or non-licensed, covered by no-fault public insurance to extract truth, take lessons learned, and prevent those tragedies happening again and again.

Please sign this petition to show your support.

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