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Kanagawa: Ex-kindergarten teacher accused of assaulting pupils

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police on Sunday announced the arrest of a 23-year-old former teacher at a kindergarten in Yokohama City over the alleged assault of two pupils, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 4).

On July 5, Nobuyuki Sakamoto, then a teacher at the Nagatsuta school of Yokohama Buddy Sports Kindergarten, located in Midori Ward, allegedly grabbed a 3-year-old boy by the chest and slammed him down.

Four days later, the suspect is also alleged to have repeatedly beat a 4-year-old boy in the face. Two days after that, he allegedly struck the same boy.

Regarding the latter incident, the suspect admits to the allegations. However, he does “not recall” the first two incidents, police said.

“I became frustrated when there was a child who was unteachable,” the suspect was quoted. He also added that he did something he “should not do.” He further said that he is “reflecting” upon his actions.

Nobuyuki Sakamoto (Twitter)

Emerged in May

The management company for Yokohama Buddy Sports Kindergarten operates five schools in the city. The schools are not approved by the government.

The matter emerged in May, when a parent lodged a complaint about abuse by a teacher. However, the deputy director of the management company for the school concluded that no assault took place.

However, on July 11, another parent of a pupil at the school lodged a similar complaint. An examination of security camera footage showed Sakamoto slapping the child, a 3-year-old boy, in the face.

The school checked more footage, which confirmed that Sakamoto assaulted a total of nine pupils on 11 occasions since the end of June. He was dismissed on July 16.

Go Kikuchi, the president of the management company, on Sunday apologized to the pupils of the school and their parents. “We will make efforts to improve [our management] such that [parents] can entrust their children [with us] with peace of mind,” Kikuchi said.