Police in Ibaraki City, Osaka, have arrested a 22-year-old man and his 19-year-old wife for allegedly starving their 3-year-old daughter to death earlier this year.
Police said Yuki Kishimoto and his wife, who cannot be named because she is a minor, have denied the charge.
NTV reported that the couple began depriving their daughter Sayane of food in February, leaving her severely malnourished. Kishimoto called 119 on June 15 and said that Sayane had lost consciousness. She was taken to hospital where she died later.
An autopsy revealed bits of candle wax, aluminium foil and onion skin in the girl's stomach. Doctors said she weighed only 8 kilograms, about half the weight of a normal child her age.
Police quoted the Kishimotos as saying they had not abused their child and that she had suddenly become very frail only days before her death. They also said Sayane suffered from a muscular disorder, congenital myopathy, since she was born, which they believe caused her death.
However, police said that while the hospital confirmed Sayane had the muscular disorder, the autopsy revealed malnutrition as the cause of death, NTV reported.
Media also reported that the medical examiner found numerous bruises and other marks indicating physical abuse on the Sayane's body.
The couple also has a son but police said there were no signs that he had been abused.© Japan Today