Police in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, have arrested a 19-year-old woman on suspicion of attempting to kill her 3-week-old daughter last month.
Police said the woman, who is a correspondence school student, attempted to suffocate her daughter to death by putting a plastic bag and towel over her face at their residence on March 9, Fuji TV reported.
The woman, who cannot be named because she is a minor, called 119, saying, "My daughter stopped breathing while I was taking a bath.” She told the fire department personnel and the hospital that it was an accident, and the incident was not initially reported to police. The child is still in hospital but out of danger.
The incident came to light when the mother called Hiratsuka City Hall on March 25, saying she would not have minded if her daughter died. A City Hall official contacted the children’s consultation office and made a report to police.
The mother lives with her husband and daughter. She was quoted by police as saying that “I have been distressed about child-raising but did not have anyone to talk to. I tried to comfort the baby but she did not stop crying, so I thought of killing her”.
According to Hiratsuka City, child consultation center officials visited the mother in January to check up on her as she was a young pregnant woman. As she seemed well-prepared to give birth, the officials did not think she would have any problem raising her child, and they did not make any follow-up visits to see how she was doing.© Japan Today