Police on Wednesday handed prosecutors their case against six executives in connection with the death of a 6-year-old boy who was crushed in an automatic revolving door at Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills commercial complex in March.

The Metropolitan Police Department has alleged that the six committed professional negligence resulting in the death of Ryo Mizokawa from Suita, Osaka Prefecture.

The six are executives of Mori Building Co., the operator of the business, shopping and entertainment complex, and Sanwa Tajima Corp., the manufacturer of the door.

The accident sparked debate over the safety of automatic revolving doors, led to revelations of other accidents and prompted many buildings to remove them.

According to an investigation, numerous accidents involving revolving doors had occurred at Roppongi Hills alone since it opened in April 2003.

Between November and December there were several incidents in which children were seriously injured, prompting officials from both firms to hold an emergency meeting Dec. 9, police said.

Despite agreeing to a six-point safety improvement plan, it has still not been carried out, investigators said. This bolsters the case of negligence against the six, who allegedly failed to take steps to prevent Mizokawa’s death despite being able to foresee the possibility of another accident occurring, they said.

During the emergency meeting, Sanwa Tajima officials explained the steps taken after a revolving door accident at the Ebisu Garden Place complex in Shibuya Ward in March 2001.

Measures that included placing security personnel by the doors and erecting a protective fence were included in the safety improvement plan for Roppongi Hills. But the only steps actually taken were simple ones, such as placing warning stickers on the doors, according to police.

The Mori Building executives are 62-year-old Yuzo Tada, a managing director; Yukihiro Koyama, 48, who is in charge of the Roppongi Hills management operations room; and Akihiro Ito, 52, chief of the architectural technology group of Mori Building’s design headquarters.

The other three are 61-year-old Hisanobu Kubo, a Sanwa Tajima director; Motohiko Yamazaki, 46, head of the firm’s product development division; and Tadashi Yamazaki, the 39-year-old head of its section in charge of revolving door projects.

Both companies released statements separately apologizing to the boy’s family and pledging efforts to ensure safety.

In the course of their investigation, Tokyo police also questioned Mori Building President Minoru Mori, 70.

But they opted not to file a criminal charge against him because they deemed that he had received a report on just one of the numerous accidents concerning revolving doors at Roppongi Hills, in which he was told the incident was minor. As such, investigators determined he could not have foreseen the fatal accident, police sources said.

Investigators said the six have basically owned up to the allegations, claiming they had taken prior accidents lightly and had never dreamed that someone might die. They also said they felt that putting up a protective barrier would be an eyesore.

On March 26, Mizokawa got his head stuck between a revolving door and the door frame as he rushed ahead of his mother at the second-floor front entrance of the Mori Tower building.

His parents and Mori Building reached an out-of-court settlement in September.

On Wednesday, the victim’s father, Koichi, issued a statement through his lawyer saying that it was only natural that criminal charges against the six be pursued.

“These two firms had much information regarding accidents involving automatic revolving doors prior to Ryo’s accident,” the statement said. “If they had put the safety of users first and focused on investigating the reasons for the accidents and implementing preventive measures, Ryo need not have died.”

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