The number of children aged 14 or under fell for the 35th straight year, with the government estimating that one child is lost per large human pyramid formed at elementary schools around the country.
Last week, Yokohama Elementary School students performed a random human pyramid during second period, but Tomi Yamashita from fifth grade failed to return to his 5C classroom.
“I last saw him climbing on top of the second tier,” said the 5C homeroom teacher. “That was the last I saw of little Tomi.”
The alarming rate of human pyramid related child losses has not diminished since new laws were introduced earlier this year limiting pyramids to five tiers.
The government originally forecasted only a few hundred broken necks in fiscal 2016 at the maximum legal human pyramid height of five tiers.
Fortunately, Tomi was one of the lucky ones and was later found smoking behind the local Family Mart.