Couple arrested over suspected suicide of 38-year-old daughter


Police on Saturday arrested an elderly couple over the suspected suicide of their 38-year-old daughter at their home in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture.

According to police, the couple, identified as Yoshihiro Otsubo, 69, and his wife Mutsuko, 67, may have assisted in their daughter Fumiko's suicide, Fuji TV reported.

Fumiko killed herself by hanging herself in her 2nd-floor bedroom at around 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning, police said.

The couple told police they attached a cord for their daughter to use. They were quoted as saying that she had frequently said that she wanted to die, Fuji reported. She was not ill but had suffered from chronic depression for a long time, the parents told police.

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Japanese courts will most likely suspend their sentence. Japan does not need another "Kevorkian".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So, she had been suffering chronic depression and her parents' idea of help was to tie a rope for her to hang herself? Does anybody else see something macarbly disturbing in this scenario? Perhaps, helping her to seek counseling would have been a more prudent approach.

5 ( +9 / -5 )

Thank you Disillusioned, I was just thinking the same thing. Seeking help for their daughter would have been the first option in my mind. But no, sad she did not receive the psychiatric attention she needed.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A fine example of doting parents. NOT !

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is stupid. If she wanted to kill herself, she would have found a way with or without her parents help. Funny how a mother can beat her child and get a suspended sentence but parents help a daughter kill herself and they want to change them? Pathetic. She died with saying good bye by parents who loved her but didn't want her to suffer anymore. I don't see a problem with it. With the suicide issue, whole other problem and I don't understand why people think it is the answer but in this case, BS.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

sad she did not receive the psychiatric attention she needed.

As has been mentioned several times before, admitting to mental illness and seeking psychiatric treatment bear a strong social stigma in Japan. Parents do not wish to admit their offspring have "mental" problems and therefore do not seek professional help. Until this notion changes, there isn't going to be very much progress.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guys how can you assume that she hadn't already seen a psychiatrist? This article doesn't say that she did or didn't, but it does say that she suffered from chronic depression which might mean she was already diagnosed. Even if a person seeks help they might still think that suicide is the only outcome. It is sad when someone chooses suicide however non of us know the reasons for her depression so we shouldn't judge her or her parents. I'm almost certain that they felt they should of done this one final thing for their daughter.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

30,000 plus Japanese have killed themselves for the past 11 consecutive years....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Imagine if her parents thought of getting her help instead of helping her end her life. I admit help here is extremely lacking, but if this is the answer...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

perhaps she was not ill but if she needed help securing a rope then perhaps she was physically disabled and maybe this wasn't her first time attempting suicide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine if her parents thought of getting her help

I imagine they did. i don't imagine they did the diagnosis of " chronic depression" themselves. I know a woman who's son was in the same situation, same age. He had been suffering chronic depression since he was 14. During over 25 years, the parents took him to all the shrinks, doctors, in Kansai, in Kanto and abroad as they had the means. That still ended by a double suicide of the son and of the father (that had become as sick as his son in the last years).

I admit help here is extremely lacking,

While in your country, psychiatrists do wonders ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As a parent myself living in Japan a long time, I can't imagine how many difficult situations there are here for families. Even thought this story sounds incredible for us to believe, we don't know the history of that family and whether that girl was psychotic from childhood on and her parents could not cope anymore. Let's get more information so we would know better. I am not condoning this suicidal assisance.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Just goes to show how mental/emotional counseling is lacking here in Japan.

I can't even begin to imagine how the parents must have helped. They obviously thought there was no other way to help. Sooo sad :(

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Filicide, either maternal or faternal is sad. A heartbreaking rationalization, which the parents made, if it is veritable.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

With parents like this, no wonder she was depressed.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

A tragedy that could have been avoided if the Japanese government would just get over themselves and import some real psychologists and psychiatrists from overseas.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Life is very precious, it should not be the victim of circumstances. Life should be respected accordingly, those who do suicide not only destroy their own life but they effect the whole society and unfortunately ignorant people follow them.

now here the pity is that 3 people considering suicide is the solution. we the human beings should come close and help each other in order to get red of such unfortunate events.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Psychiatric "help" was the cause of this girl's death.

Psychiatry in the West is not much better.

Take a look at the suicide figures of mental patients.

And the mass murderers, like James Holmes who had had years of psychiatric "treatment."

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the story lacks detail, so I can't judge, but surely any parent's objective is the survival of their children.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Frungy wrote

A tragedy that could have been avoided if the Japanese government would just get over themselves and import some real psychologists and psychiatrists from overseas.

Sadly I believe that quite a lot of Japanese psychiatrists have a tendency to agree to an extent with Fungy, and think that they need to import some 'real psychology' from overseas. It is my belief, however, that a major problem with psychiatric care in Japan is that it has a tendency to use US psychiatric techniques, often focused upon some version of 'the speaking cure,' which I believe is less effective among Japanese patients. Fortunately there are some Japanese therapy (lidded pot image therapy - tsubou-ryouhou, movement therapy, Morita therapy, looking inward -- Naikan therapy, and sand play - the latter originating in Europe) but academe is still dominated by Western ideas.

Heejung Kim (2002) demonstrates, I believe, that talking and thinking is not linked in Japan in the same way as it is for Westerners. I think that this also implies that talking and self concept, talking and curing are not nearly so closely linked either. Link below to Kim's paper

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sorry the under bars in that link were interpreted as italics. The link is in fact

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Emotional neglect and the separation from love drives the desire for suicide. This is the basis of the appalling culture if death where a mother and father promote and actively allow the killing of their own offspring as if it were some "right". The child who is "born alive" but raised in this ugly culture of death as if it were the correct way, is that the "right" to kill oneself is the straightline conclusion to such life-despising sad mistaken world views. Life is life, love creates life, and mans and womens serious error, leads to the denial of this truth.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

another case w/o enough info.

Was it a mercy assisted suicide for someone who had real and insurmountable problems? Was it abuse and neglect of her parents that drove her to do it?

Can't say as this article leads me to think one way or t'other.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We now know the cause of the depression

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And what exactly was the cause Mirai??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have a few Japanese therapeutists and psychologist in my circle of acquaintances. NONE of them got any valuable education for their profession in Japan. ALL of them have degrees, careers and families in other countries. You might get a diagnosis in Japan, but not help. Never help.

Mommy dearest was ashamed of her daughter in distress and hanged the rope as ijime, right? This assumption is as valid as those who say parents just tried to help her. They would never admit using their J-school ijime techniques on their own daughter, now would they?

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Well, If I had parents who wanted me dead to the point where they are willing help me take my own like, I'd be depressed too. I don't think its too far fetched to assume that there are at least part of the problem.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

wow, parents to die for :o

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That is just crazy. What parents would help their child to commit suicide? And there was not even a physical illness involved according to the article. Bizarre! How do these people want to spend the rest of their miserable lives?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shouldn't they be charged with manslaughter for this??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I understand the action of her parents. If they had exhausted all other option of helping her but she cannot be cured why would you let your child suffer any longer?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

crazy family

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Macabre and "easy-looking" way to solve their daughter's problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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