Japanese Psychiatrist Shoichiro Kaneko’s 5 year prison term upheld – NEGLIGENT IN PLOWING HIS CAR INTO 5 PEOPLE, KILLING ONE


Japan Today
Prison term upheld for psychiatrist for fatal seizure-caused car crash
February 23, 2018

Psychiatrist Shoichiro Kaneko

Psychiatrist Shoichiro Kaneko

The Tokyo High Court upheld Thursday a lower court ruling that sentenced a psychiatrist to five years in prison for killing a woman and injuring four others in a 2015 epilepsy-caused car crash on a street near Ikebukuro Station.

The court dismissed an appeal by 56-year-old Shoichiro Kaneko, with Presiding Judge Kazuyuki Okuma saying, “The defendant deserves severe blame for having his driver’s license renewed without declaring his chronic illness, despite having been warned about it by his doctor, and continuing to drive a car.”

According to the ruling, Kaneko lost consciousness while driving out of an underground parking lot and his car plowed into pedestrians and ran across a sidewalk into a storefront on Aug. 16, 2015.

The incident resulted into the death of a 41-year-old pharmacist, Toshiko Ebata, while severely injuring four others.

The Tokyo District Court gave Kaneko the five-year sentence last June.

During his trial at the district court in January last year, the defense argued that Kaneko had taken prescribed medications and there was no indication he would have a seizure.

The district court dismissed the argument, saying the defendant drove for 147 kilometers earlier that day and that as a psychiatrist should have had knowledge of a causal relationship between fatigue and seizure.