• Kyodo


A 12-year-old junior high school student seriously injured Wednesday after being hit by a pine tree in Kanagawa Prefecture died Friday morning at a hospital in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, police said.

Junji Fukuda, a first-year student at Kaichi Junior High School in Iwatsuki, Saitama Prefecture, had been in critical condition after being hit on the head by the tree, which fell from a cliff on a beach in the town of Manazuru, police said.

Fukuda had been walking along the beach with a group of students on a school field trip when the tree, measuring 12 meters tall and 60 cm in diameter, suddenly fell off a 20-meter-high cliff onto the students Wednesday evening.

Seven other students were injured in the accident, one of whom remains hospitalized.

According to local firefighters and town officials, the beach is a popular location for student fieldwork activities.

While trees have been blown over on windy days in the past, Wednesday’s accident is unprecedented, they said.