Mourning continues after death of girl left behind in school bus

People in central Japan continue to mourn one week after a 3-year-old girl died of heat stroke after being left behind in a locked school bus.

Kawamoto China died last Monday after spending about 5 hours trapped in the bus operated by Kawasaki Kindergarten in the city of Makinohara in Shizuoka Prefecture.

On Monday, mourners visited altars in front of the kindergarten and at the parking lot where the girl was found in the bus to offer flowers and drinks as a memorial.

A woman in her 40s, who lives nearby, said that it is heartbreaking to think about the 3-year-old victim, who might have played with own child, even though they go to different kindergartens.

Police were stopping cars near the parking lot to ask drivers if they had seen the school bus last Monday.

Police suspect the kindergarten operator failed to ensure the safety of children on the bus. Investigators are questioning the principal and staff who were on duty on that day.