crime

Child abuse suspected after bruised 3-year-old girl dies

73 Comments

A 3-year-old girl died on Saturday in Fukuoka City, and police are questioning her mother and stepfather after learning the girl's body was covered in bruises.

Police said the 21-year-old stepfather asked a resident in the apartment next door to call an ambulance at around 9.30 p.m. Saturday night. The girl was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead about an hour later, with emergency personnel saying the girl was not breathing when they arrived at the apartment.

Police said the man lived in the apartment since November last year, with his 21-year-old wife and the 3-year-old girl who was born in the woman's previous marriage. They said that the woman was working on Saturday night, and that the man was at home with his stepdaughter. Police quoted him as saying: "We were in the bath together when she suddenly became limp."

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73 Comments
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"The woman was working on Saturday night".....I can imagine what kind of job.

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My god! Did this brutal man drown this 3-year-old girl in the bath tub? How long had he been abusing her?

Very young mother. Desperate. Probably got remarried to the first guy who came along. I hope they nail the guy.

They really have to teach teens about birth control!

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FFS mr government people, all you sheep!! Raise your voices and get some proper child welfare!!! And please do NOT copy the uk. We have no idea how to save children from sick monsters. Second time I'm gonna say thus today. RIP little one. I hope your murderer rots in hell after a long, unhealthy and interesting life.

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Sick people !!!!!

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These cases of second husband or live-in BF beating/ killing the child from the former wife's marriage are common.

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She suddenly became limp? Nice excuse there, buddy. Evvverybody will believe you.

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Terrible news, cant imagine the pain the lil girl felt.

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Two child abuse stories today. Sad...

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And the beat goes on....

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Police said the 21-year-old stepfather asked a resident in the apartment next door to call an ambulance

This guy didn't have a phone of his own? Didn't know how use one? Forgot the number? Strange.

Were they married? the story mentions the guy only lived there a few months.

Sad, sad case.

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@dolphingirl, The report does not say he drowned or abused the little girl, it only says,

police are questioning her mother and stepfather after learning the girl’s body was covered in bruises<

again, reporting of facts and details is very poor. Where were the bruises, could these bruises have been caused by attempted CPR? Unfortunately, we all tend to jump to a conclusion that foul play is involved. Lets try and keep with the facts, albeit very few of them being reported. And here there is only a suspicion of abuse reported.

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no no no this can't be. what's wrong with people???

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"We were in the bath together when she suddenly became limp.” Not only a japanese Child Murderer but also a Pedophile!! shameless japan all the way down the gutter again. Here pets are treated better than children, and on top of that they make it hell for someone to adopt a child. What's wrong with this country that rather murder kids than give them away in adoption?

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what a devil?

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While this case needs more investigation to prove abuse the facts are highly suspect. Being in the bath with your young child, however, does NOT make you a pedophile. My husbands bathes with our 1.5 year old all the time. He`s not a pedophile. Please rethink your comment KyokoSmile.

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What I find truly barbaric are the comments on this forum. We have no proof so it is too early to assume guilt. People bash the police for sentencing an innocent man, but those same people condemn the accused as guilty.

Taking a bath with one's daughter/step daughter is normal.

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More often than not, families living outside Tokyo bath together. This does not make them paedophiles. It is an old tradition of Japan which has not survived in Tokyo, partly because of western influence but mainly from a move to showers rather than baths.

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spikejp: I was speculating about what might have happened. You are right, though. We shouldn't jump to conclusions. Still, it said--the girl’s body was covered in bruises which suggests to me, and obviously to police as well, that abuse is probable.

Another possibility is that he left the girl in the tub alone and returned later to find she had drown. I also find it a little strange that he called an ambulance at 9:30 which means he was giving her a bath only shortly before that. Aren't 3-year-old's usually in bed by 8 or something? Just saying...

Anyway, I hope we here more details.

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"What's wrong with this country that rather murder kids than give them away in adoption?" And your proof is where? Do you have numbers to justify this claim? General comments like this just minimize what you are trying to say. Please make them case specific. Poor kids!

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If they are guilty they will be found out... More than likely they will be charged even if they aren't guitly. Japan doesn't have a conviction rate of 99.97% for nothing you know. Guitly until proven innocent is the general concensus in Japanese law, not to mention the law of these forums. Japanese police may be incompetent, but their incompetence lies in their inability to prove people innocent, not guilty.

Japan has a bathing culture - I wouldn't read too much in to the bath thing. (though I can't think why a child would suddenly go limp on exposure to hot water...)

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You know what really angers me? The comment from foreigners living in Japan with such little understanding of the Japanese culture. I mean for example, bathing kids... it does not make a father a pedophile. My dad used to bath me when I was little (and yes, I grew up in Tokyo)... at least until I was old enough I wouldn't drown on my own. He is not a pedophile. It's just an age old tradition. Child abuse case in Japan is probably far less prominent than a lot of western countries.

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KSB1978

Child abuse case in Japan is probably far less prominent than a lot of western countries.

-With coffee in nose. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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canukle: Did you read the article word by word? if not I encourage you to do so..It clearly states that the body of the 3-year-old was covered in bruises keyword: bruises. Let's not try to figure out how this did this small child ended up like this, but next time think before you post, as I'm too married and my husband also bathes my little girl. Again: BRUISES!!

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What I detest even more is this Japan Apologists flooding this forum with garbage-gomen nasai posts trying to excuse the cruel murder of this small innocent child. Geezus, get a life!

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K-Smile...U a dad....poor kids! What a bad attitude u have!

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Also, K-smile...when more than one poster argues with your points maybe it is timke to rethink your ideas....just a suggestion

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meloveulongtime: I bet you don't have kids of your own. Posting nonsense and trying to apologize for child-murderers. Shame on you!

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I am not apologizing for a child murdered....scum period! And I am not trying to be critical of you...just please do not post such non-sense as "What's wrong with this country that rather murder kids than give them away in adoption?" Comments like that just take away from the legitimacy of your posts. U have good points....yeah child abuse is terrible. Agreed...just keep your comments specific please.... Yes I am father but I also see grey...not just black and white. I have an education....

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ugh these stupid, violent young parents sicken me

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thepro: My sentiments exactly. It's really depressing. rip little angel.

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Covered in bruises? Sounds like both mother and stepfather are to blame. And anyone else that had seen she was bruised and did not report it.

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KSB1978-- it doesn't make it any better whether the nuumber of child abuse cases are less or more in japan compared to western countries.. the fact is that there are child abuse cases here in japan and the number is definitely increasing, that's the problem. it's not a competition here whether japan is safer or not.

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You would have thought that maybe some neighbors saw the kid with all the bruises.

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KyokoSmile - I was not referring to the covered in bruises remark, I was commenting on the remark you posted stating that if the man was in the bath with the child that made him a pedophile. Yes, I did read the article, no I am not making excuses for people who abuse children. If the child was abused, then by all means, arrest the man. He should be arrested anyway as the child died under his care under suspicious circumstances. I would just caution all not to jump to conclusions and howl for ppls blood. When I was a youngster I was CONSTANTLY covered in bruises - none from my parents or grandparents but plenty from BMXing and otherwise being an active (and accident prone) child.

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And anyone else that had seen she was bruised and did not report it.

Shokama,goddog, even if the neighbours and friends see it, they pretend that they did not see it. I am angry about this. I am going to look silly, but this is something that I am rebelling against. My Jfreinds are uncomfortable with this. Older Jfriends have these expressions on their faces like 'can you mind your own business'. I just feel that we should write some articles for the local magazines about the seriousness of this. I am going to change the Jlaw: all children have to be protected, sometimes even by neighbors and strangers. Posters in the train should read, if you suspect a child is being abused, REPORT :)

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The bathtubs, bathing together IN MY HUMBLE OPINION has a slightly different meaning here. So maybe its time to improvise this aspect of the culture.

Kyokosmile is just expressing her thoughts and might help to remember, she is trying to deal with something in her life too. So can we just be a little considerate here. I still react this way, when I read articles about how children are being exploited for money, and in most cases by their own parents. I am getting convinced that the parental love is slightly different in Jminds.

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womanforwomen, great post and yes, even if neighbors and friends saw the bruises, there is not much they could have done. Most probably "Mind your own business" would have been the answer from this couple to them. No one wants to get involved, especially when it comes to someone else's young children. How many times I've seen people literally stomping on their own children in public and people passing by just prentend blindness? Remember also that there are NO strict sentences against in-family-murders in this country. Suspended Sentences for killing your own children are very common. Now if you kill someone else's that would be another story. Nonetheless, this article is unbelievable.

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What I was remarking to KyokoSmile about was the erronus comment about the bath=pedophile correlation. That's all. Not that child abuse is ok, or should be tolerated. When I was a kid, yes from about 2 onwards when I really got my feet under me I ran into walls, trees, anything that stood still....I was really, really clumsy. If the neighbours had called the police everytime I had a bruise, or two or three, or was covered the cops would have been at my house ....well, a lot! I do not think Japan is perfect, there are aspects I all out loathe. I don't like to bunch everyone into one little pigeonhole though. I wouldn't like it if they said the same things about my home country's inhabitants either. Its stereotyping, and it`s ugly both ways.

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womanforwomen, "some" people just don't get it. I already stated the fact that I was referring to the girl's body covered in bruises and knowing how many cases of child-abuse(exploited) have been reported lately, it's not hard to imagine something like that in this case. I am by no means stating that bathing with your child is a pedophile act! Thank you for your sincere understanding! :)

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Geez... I guess on top of a 'Police Crimes of the Week' column JT ought to make a 'Today's Gold-Medal Parents' section, it being of course sarcastic and pointing to the daily murder of infants by J-parents.

Sick sick sick... once again.

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'Suddenly became limp'? I don't want to suspect the worst, but that seems like such a weak excuse... Poor little girl. I hope they figure out exactly what happened.

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Another (suspected) child abuse case involving a parent from a second marriage. ...and the mother was only 18 when she had this child. I'm baffled as to why Japan doesn't improve its sex education at an earlier age. In Canada, we learned about contraception in grade 8... and that was over 20 years ago! We laughed and joked about it because we were imature, but at least we knew about it.

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womanforwoman-

I am getting convinced that the parental love is slightly different in Jminds.

oh please... parental love is universal. terrible things happen in japan and in many other countries. there are really bad parents but i do know many good, loving parents here in japan as well.

having said that, i am really sad that things like this happen and the government of japan and police do not react the right way.

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People should realize that there are different sociological circumstances for different societies. Please note that Asian societies tend to promote group unity and inter-dependence while western societies promote individuality and independence. Taking a bath with your child may be awkward and questionable for westerners who grew up only having their parents assist them in bathing but not participate. On the contrary, taking baths with your children may be quite common. Such situations wouldn't be unexpected, considering how there are public bathhouses in Japan.

It is also important to note the bystander-responsibility relationship. This relationship claims that as the number of bystanders increase the likelihood that one of them will act decreases.

Also, I will give my support to the fact that the girl could have obtained the bruises simply by being active (I, myself, am a good example of that).

However, I will refrain from making any conclusions about this particular situation. It is impossible to make an effective argument with the lack of information given.

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Having a bath with your own child is one thing. But having a bath with someone else's child is something else again, and with her suddenly going limp and dying like that I hope they check her poor little body for more than bruises.

I don't know what Kyokosmile said about the subject, so I can't comment, but certainly if a mother is prepared to let her daughter bath with whatever man happens to be sharing the mother's bed then she's either unbelievably stupid or she's encouraging him to sexually abuse the child. I wonder if the mother is actually married to this man? These days news articles always seem to use the term stepfather for the man living with the mother, regardless of whether they are married or not.

Either way, I really get a bad feeling about this. If he's capable of hurting her to the point where she dies, then what else did he and her mother do to her?

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OMG. Americans worried about children dying is a new one.

Stahl: "We have heard that a half a million children have died [because of sanctions against Iraq]. I mean that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And--you know, is the price worth it?"

Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."

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dammit, Let's hope they actually do a decent autopsy on this little girl and find out what really happened to her. I just saw the NEWS and the so called parents went unnamed again. It's unbelievable how much they try to protect the culprit's privacy at all costs. I see no justice for this little angel. My heart is once again broken.

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Obviously there should be more details before we jump to conclusions. People here are assuming the worst and taking it as an opportunity to bash Japan. The kid may have collapsed, the man may have performed CPR (bruises), may have gone to the neighbors for help when he could not revive her.

Then again he may have beaten her up and drowned her. Things are not reported clearly at times but instead of bashing Japan and speculating about the mothers job and that the man destroyed and defiled the girl, lets be sad for the little one that she passed so early.

Once we get more details, then we can comment instead of speculate.

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I find it strange how you people are going off topic so much. There is a beatiful little angel dead because of the Japanese sense of not wanting trouble and minding their own business.

Those of you reading this article enforcing your countries values is useless. Police here in Japan will do anything out the ordinary to protect anyone. I have even heard them say, "I don't get paid enough" to do what is actually required of them.

This innocent child became his child the moment he married her mother. most fathers in Japan never contact their kids after divorce. The government as of last month is being pressured into signing the Hague convention but that is another topic. Fathers are aloud to take baths with their children. There is nothing sexual about it! Those of you that think differently should seek pshy help. A childs mind knows nothing of sexulity and gives fathers that chance of bonding and pleasant relaxing memories of childhood!

Well, in my opinion, the death penalty should be enforced on the mother and new father becuase the mother knew what was happening and aloud it

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Hang on! She was pregnant at 16, is now 21 and, as of today she used to have a 3 year old kid, previously married, divorced and now living with a 21 year old de facto? It sounds like a recipe for disaster in any country. Sad!

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OK, time to ratchet down the rhetoric a tad. First off, this isn't some guy off the street, it was the girl's step-father. He MARRIED the mother.

Second of all, we don't know WHAT caused the bruises. That's why the article reports that the bruises are being investigated as SUSPECTED child abuse. An autopsy will help determine what happened - including whether abuse was involved.

Re-bathing: I wonder if it was your typical Japanese bath where the temperature of the water is very hot? Such a bath drawn for an adult can quickly overheat a 3-year-old to the point of a heat stroke collapse.

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Hang on! She was pregnant at 16, is now 21 and, as of today she used to have a 3 year old kid, previously married, divorced and now living with a 21 year old de facto? It sounds like a recipe for disaster in any country. Sad!

That is not a recipe for disaster. It happens so often, you are blind if you cannot see it. While it's certainly not a good idea to have a child so early, the situation most often works out.

It was the weak minds of the parent(s) that caused this. They were not mentally stable enough to have this child like the majority of people are. It's just a case of being born to the wrong people.

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kwilkins21 at 07:39 PM JST - 22nd February

I find it strange how you people are going off topic so much.

Seems like you went off topic yourself.

This innocent child became his child the moment he married her mother. Fathers are aloud to take baths with their children. There is nothing sexual about it! Those of you that think differently should seek pshy help. A childs mind knows nothing of sexulity and gives fathers that chance of bonding and pleasant relaxing memories of childhood! Well, in my opinion, the death penalty should be enforced on the mother and new father becuase the mother knew what was happening and aloud it

Quite the off topic post. And why does someone say she was pregnant at 16? Now 21? 3 year old? Either someone's maths are off or she has more than one child, which is it?

Anyway, I think Fadamor might have a point with the bath water temperature. If that's what it is then this poor kids lost life might at least help other kids whose parents are too vague to realise that hot water is dangerous.

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dammit, you do have a good point, but it still doesn't explain how this small creature got all her body covered in bruises...unbelievable!!

Honestly, I think I'm gonna die of a heartstroke if JT keeps with publishing this kind of stories, my heart can only take so much..

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People who say we are all jumping to conclusions are right. But the facts certainly don`t look good. So young, stepfather, covered in bruises and an unexplained death....hard not to jump to conclusions.

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alright.. here's the fact. This man, was NOT in the bath with the girl. He admitted to the police that he hit and punched the girl all the time because she wets her pants (damn.. she is only 3 !!!!!!) and the girl actually died of intracerebral bleeding. The man was unemployed and was home with the girl while mother of the girl was working. Sad.

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AND the guy and the mother have ANOTHER child.. 8-month-old baby boy.. Good thing that the baby is actually in a facility away from the parents.

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OMG, its WORSE than I imagine! My heart is broken beyond repair for all I know. Unbelievable..for what its worth, the japan-apologists vanished for good. Thank you for the info, Fishy. :(

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he hit and punched the girl all the time because she wets her pants

And the halfwit thought that beating her senseless would give her perfect control over her bladder? OMG.

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Fishy, I agree with you. All child abuse is bad, and having just one is bad enough. I wish we could live in a world where there were no child abuse, and I can not even begin to imagine the pain it causes these children. All I am saying is, that some people misconstrue and bag Japan and its culture for all the wrong reasons, without thinking about what happens at home, which they are blind to... and often not understanding the culture clearly.

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fishy: Thanks for the details.

RIP little girl and I hope the 8-month-old is put in a good home.

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study shows that when little kids are nervous, they tend to have "accidents" while sleeping and wet their pants.. I wonder if this girl was emotionaly unstable and that was why she had so many "accidents" which this stepdad didn't like.. I mean, comeON... she is 3, many kids wet their pants until 4 or 5.. and hitting a little child to cause intracerebral bleeding is just.. horrible.

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A childs mind knows nothing of sexulity and gives fathers that chance of bonding and pleasant relaxing memories of childhood!

Um, is it just me or does this sound like a rant from someone with very little idea and no kids? Kids do understand sexuality from around 3-4 years old and I find the practice of bathing wih kids quite repulsive and morally wrong. But, I am not Japanese and don't like manga either, hence very different moral values.

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Kids do understand sexuality from around 3-4 years old

Research begs to differ. Regardless, many families view bath time here as 'family time'. To get back on the subject, this is really depressing. There are plenty of available options to help a child learn to stop wetting the bed, and none of them involve beating said child.

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..so lets see if i understand this...a 3year covered with bruises .....was not breathing and you only SUSPECT abuse.............one would think abuse was quite obvious.........

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Um, is it just me or does this sound like a rant from someone with very little idea and no kids? Kids do understand sexuality from around 3-4 years old and I find the practice of bathing wih kids quite repulsive and morally wrong. But, I am not Japanese and don't like manga either, hence very different moral values.

What nonsense. You must have a problem with kids and sexuality if you think this way. I shower with my son all the time and I make sure I wash every nook and cranny so that he does not get rashes. It never crossed my or his mind that there is something sexual about it. Its very normal.

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Poor little love. I hope next time around she is born to ones who adore every moment with this little treasure.

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Fishy, do you have a link to another article on this case? I would really like to read it.

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Firstly I can't believe this isn't one of the top stories??? This type of crime seems to be on the increase here in Japan. When I first came to Japan I also thought that bathing with kids is wierd, but and a big BUT once I had kids I started doing it. I take a bath with my 3 kids almost every night. It's one of the best times of the day in our house, we talk about many things and the kids ask questions non stop. If I didn't do it I'm sure we wouldn't be bonding as well as we are. It's a good way to relax and wind down after a busy day for as all.

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I'm not saying he is wrong, but I would feel better getting a correction on the story from a source other than one named "fishy". :-)

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study shows that when little kids are nervous, they tend to have "accidents" while sleeping and wet their pants..

This is correct. When I toilet trained my child I made it a goal and provided incentives. Piling pressure on or bullying a child will result in a lot of accidents.

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Canukle - Here's the link, but it's Japanese. I usually read Japanese article as I am fluent in the language (I am a haafu Japanese and French), and Japanese articles often have more information.

http://mainichi.jp/select/jiken/news/20100223ddm041040157000c.html

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Fadamor - and I am not "he", I'm a "she" :) not that it matters much, but just wanted to mention that. I have 2 kids both born in Japan and go to Japanese hoikuen and elementary school.

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