A husband and wife pleaded guilty on Monday to starving to death their 1-year-old son.
During the opening session of their trial at the Saitama District Court, Kenshiro Yamabe and his wife Hitomi, both 25, pleaded guilty to starving their son Haruto in October last year at their apartment in Okegawa in Saitama Prefecture, Sankei Shimbun reported. They gave their son only milk when he cried, according to the indictment.
The court heard that the couple called 119 on Oct 9, 2017, after Haruto fell unconscious. He died later that night in hospital. He weighed just 3.8 kilograms, less than half the average weight for a child of his age, at the time of his death.
As there were no signs of physical abuse on the boy's body, doctors determined Haruto died as a result of being deprived of food over an extended period of time.
The couple have admitted that they frequently ignored Haruto while they played video games.
Haruto had two older brothers, then aged 4 and 3, but they had no health problems.© Kyodo/Japan Today