A married couple in their 30s were arrested Thursday for abandoning their four children, aged five and younger, at their home in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, last November, while they played pachinko for nearly eight hours. One of the children died while they were out.
According to police, Shinya Takashima, 36, a company employee, and his wife Hiromi, 38, who is a dental hygienist, have been arrested on suspicion of parental neglect resulting in death, Fuji TV reported. They are accused of abandoning their 5-year-old son, 3-year-old daughter, 1-year-old son and youngest son, Masamune, who was three months old, at their apartment in Suma Ward from around 10:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Nov 26.
Police said the couple have admitted to spending the day at a pachinko parlor five kilometers away, near Kobe station.
The couple told police Masamune wasn’t breathing and his body was cold when they returned home and they called 119. However, the infant was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. The cause of death has not been released.
The couple’s three other children were taken into protective custody at a child welfare center in December.© Japan Today