A couple from Miyazu in Kyoto Prefecture, who were arrested in July for putting their 6-year-old daughter in a washing machine overnight to discipline her, had abused the girl on many occasions before, police said Tuesday.
The couple, who have been identified as 24-year-old Mariko Hayashi and 26-year-old Keiji Fujii, have confessed to binding the girl's hands with tape and putting her in the washing machine during the night of July 11.
Police said their investigations have uncovered a history of violence and mistreatment in the household.
According to police, the couple forced the girl to remember over 20 behavioral rules, including saying "itadakimasu" before eating and remembering to eat slowly. When the girl failed to recite the entire list from memory on July 11, her hands were tied together, her mouth was gagged and she was placed in washing machine.
The couple have also admitted to hitting the girl. Fujii was quoted by police as saying he hit the girl because she was eating her dinner too fast. Meanwhile, Hayashi told police, "Using violence to discipline children is completely normal."© Compiled from news reports