The murders of 13-year-old Natsumi Hirata and 12-year-old Ryoto Hoshino in Osaka last month sparked a heated conversation in the media about the state of parenting in Japan.

Hirata and Hoshino were caught wandering the streets on security cameras during the wee hours of Aug. 13 before they were presumably picked up and killed. Neither child was homeless, and the question became: What were they doing out so late? In interviews, Hirata’s classmates said that she often went out at night and hung around on the streets, sometimes not returning home for several days.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.