News On Japan

Support Facility Allows Minors to Smoke, Drink, and Fire Guns

AICHI, May 25 (News On Japan) - An independent support facility in Aichi Prefecture, where several staff members have been arrested, is in the spotlight for its unusual methods of dealing with troubled children.

Shuichi Yoshikawa, 61, was arrested on May 23 on suspicion of aiding and abetting a violation of the Firearms and Swords Control Law, along with his daughter, Yuki Himuro, 38.

Yoshikawa is suspected of having allowed a 12-year-old boy residing at the independent support facility "Ikijuku" to possess the shotgun over one meter in length in January this year, along with Yuki.

Not only was the boy allowed to hold the gun, but he also fired it from a boat off the coast of Tokoname City. Yuki, who was present, did not stop him and even fired the gun herself.

It is believed that Yuki's husband, Yu Himuro, 46, the representative of "Ikijuku," filmed the incident.

Yu Himuro was already arrested on May 13 on suspicion of employing an 11-year-old resident of "Ikijuku" at his own construction company, Himuro Construction, by making the child operate a hydraulic excavator.

This boarding facility, supporting the independence of children with issues such as truancy, houses around 20 minors and began operations around 2018.

A person familiar with the facility commented: 'There is a lot of freedom regarding wake-up and sleep times, with about 4 people to a room. Kids can be on their phones all day.'

According to the website, the initial fee for joining Ikijuku is over 350,000 yen.

An affiliate of Ikijuku: 'There were instances where smoking and drinking were allowed. Staff members were seen buying cigarettes for the kids.'

There were unusual circumstances where residents smoked and drank alcohol.

Following the recent incident, about 20 children at Ikijuku were transferred to a child consultation center on May 23. However, except for the boy who fired the shotgun, all have since returned to the facility.

Source: 日テレNEWS

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