Nursery Head Apologizes for Heatstroke Death of Girl Left in Bus

Society Lifestyle

Makinohara, Shizuoka Pref., Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)--The head of a "kodomoen," a kindergarten-nursery hybrid, in central Japan has offered an apology after a girl attending the school died of heatstroke earlier this week as a result of being left in the school's bus for about five hours.

"I offer my sincere apology to the girl and her family," Tatsuyoshi Masuda, 73, who heads Kawasaki Kindergarten in the city of Makinohara, Shizuoka Prefecture, told a press conference held at the school Wednesday. He said he will resign soon after his successor is picked.

According to the Shizuoka prefectural police department, the school bus carrying the girl, China Kawamoto, 3, and five other children arrived at Kawasaki Kindergarten around 8:50 a.m. Monday (11:50 p.m. Sunday GMT). A staff worker found the girl unconscious in the bus around 2:10 p.m. She was confirmed dead after being sent to a hospital. An autopsy found that she died of heatstroke.

On that day, the bus was driven by Masuda, as its official driver in charge was absent on short notice and three extra drivers refused to stand in.

Masuda said, "When I got off (after stopping the bus), I checked the area around the door from the driver's seat, but I couldn't see the back of the bus."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press