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Yua Funato is seen in this image taken from the Facebook page of her mother Yuri Funato.

Mother gets 8 years in prison over fatal abuse of 5-year-old daughter


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Well, at least she didn't get away with just a tap on the wrist.

Now let's see if the husband gets the punishment he deserves.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

I'd like to say it's better than nothing. But 8 years for helping to murder a 5 year old is nothing.

Shameful. Japanese justice proving itself again

12 ( +17 / -5 )

8 years? That is it? A life was lost because of her.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

...with her then husband and Yua's 34-year-old stepfather...

Every time I read one of these awful stories I wonder where the actual father was and what he was doing. Anyone know?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Eight years is much less than she deserves, but it’s more than I was expecting them to give her. I wonder what will her deadbeat husband will get? He deserves the rope, but I can’t see him getting it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I have to say I disagree with the lynch mob on this one.

I think the judgement is pretty sexist and demonstrated a lack of understanding in the experience of abused women that I'd expect from male judges in general and Japanese male judges in particular.

She did not actually actively "kill" her, sepsis did.

She died from neglect fair enough. It's likely the mother didn't know the difference between a cold and pneumonia.

Diagnosing severe sepsis in cases of pneumonia is not easy, even from practitioners. It's a physical overreaction to an infection.

The mother needed help long before this crisis and will probably need more now but not get it.

Sadly, I suspect society as whole is not reflecting on how it abandons women in these circumstances.

It's a case of a knock on effect.

I could believe she was in such a state and so scared/compromised/controlled by her husband that she could do nothing without his permission. That's typical.

I'll be more interested to see what he gets.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

It was the stepfather's abuse... mother for neglect,

Not only. The man was more violent, he was beating the child and he was dominating the woman, he'll have his sentence soon. But the woman, it's about her now. She was not just a witness, she was also abusing the child. The girl was underfed for years and treated with cruelty. You don't remember when they published the notes the kid was writing to beg BOTH "parents" be kinder to her , to stop punishing and scolding her ?

It's likely the mother didn't know the difference between a cold and pneumonia.

Reread the article. The girl ended up sick because in the last 2 months, they were starving her. Then (it was is previous articles) even when she was really feeling bad and vomiting the "parents" didn't want to show the child to a doctor for fear he'd notice the bruises and decided to wait. 3 days later, she was dead.

The mother needed help long before this crisis

Certainly all the child abusers would need help. But is there an efficient treatment ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Eight years for a life! Wow! Life is cheap!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

8 yeas that is bs 40 years with good behavior.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese courts are going to give harsh punishments to the parents in case which is just but what about the screw ups by civil servants ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I hope every second of those eight years is spent with her cohorts reminding her in vast spectrum of ways what a despicable, unworthy, evil failure of a human she is.

May every mouthful of food she tastes be fouled.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

As a parent of girls around Yua's age, this saddens me massively. I will always prioritise my girls over everything else and I wouldn't ever allow anyone to harm them.

This poor girl though was failed by the one person who she should've been able to trust more than anyone else in the world :(

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, Ok, daughter is dead so now let's get a divorce after husband inflicts years and years of pain and trauma on the girl. Dumb dumb dumb woman. No sympathy....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Anyone know?

Does the mother know herself ? The kid had the surname of the step-abuser. That probably means there never was a father in the picture.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now aply the same logic and sentences across the board, not pick and choose.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The loser ex-husband should get at least 30 years but wouldn't be surprised if he only gets 10 or 15. Those animals tortured and killed an innocent child.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not nearly enough for this murderer, but I have to say it's far more than I thought she would get. Hope somehow it gets extended to life.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'd like to say it's better than nothing. But 8 years for helping to murder a 5 year old is nothing.

> Shameful. Japanese justice proving itself again

agree 100%

2 ( +4 / -2 )


1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a joke. 8 years?? She did not do anything. Powerless? Full of nonsense! This is the joke of the century by this lousy justice system. Is there even justice actually??? This warrants a life sentence. Let her rot in hell. And how about the government workers who messed up? I'm lost for words.

1 ( +2 / -1 )


Certainly all the child abusers would need help.

No, I don't think she was a "child abusers" so much as a victim of domestic violence. You see this sort of behavior a lot in cult-style environments. The psychology of it is well studied.

You do get cases of two psychopaths together but they are very, very rare. More common is where the mother or woman is just to totally dominated they hardly exist any more and in this case she was afraid to go to the hospital/authorities because of his reaction to her not enjoying abusing the child.

How many women's shelters, helplines etc are?

Likely the mother had unloving parents herself and chronic low self-esteem. You'll probably find substance or gambling abuse.

I mean, just take that. Where were the grandparents too?

As gratifying as lynching someone up a tree is, blame lies with society too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

8 years? It should be 8 years per day that they tortured her.

AS for the husband, boyfriend or whatever name her male scum wants to go by, here's hoping for at least 50 years for your deadbeat self.

As for the little one who suffered so much, you're in a better place now than you ever were with either of those two poor excuses for human beings. Rest without pain little one, you deserve to know what true happiness is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’m guessing the ‘trial by media’ contributed to her sentence

If that’s what it takes to lock these monsters up, than let’s hope the media continues to publicize future cases to the same extent as this one.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I agree with PacificWest. It was the stepfather's abuse that led to the mother being too afraid to help her daughter. She deserves to be punished for neglect, and hopefully she gets some psychological help at the same time, but she didn't kill the little girl.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's likely the mother didn't know the difference between a cold and pneumonia.

You’re probably right. But I’m sure she knew that a bowl of soup a day wasn’t enough for any human to survive on. How can anyone make excuses for this woman? Because her husband was worse, we should feel sympathy for her? She could’ve left and she didn’t. She let her child be abused and she deserves to be severely punished for this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the West, there has been the development of laws against "coercive control" or "controlling behaviour" going beyond just the physical abuse in domestic violence cases to recognizing the effects of mental and emotional threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

In some countries, it is now a criminal offence. I don't know what its status in Japan is but I'd suspect Japan to be behind the times in it.

Deprivation of basic needs such as food is one specific one, deprivation of access to support services, such as medical services is another.

Immediately, in this case, that's two strikes.

Isolation from friends and family - which I suspect in this case, monitoring of time and communication, control over aspects of everyday life - such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep, repeated put downs - again which I suspect in this case, humiliation, degradation, or dehumanisation, and control over finances are all others.

It's a case for forensic psychologists to untangle and treat but likely you'd find both partners came from dysfunctional backgrounds.

Simple "punishing" is likely to destroy one party, the mother; and reinforce the behavior of other, the step father.

It be something like the male acting out infantile attention seeking desires (projected onto the girl friend/mother figure) by manifesting repressed desires to kill a competing sibling. Classic Freudian stuff in 10 words or less form.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The sentence seems quite heavy by comparison to other recent fatal child abuse cases. I’m guessing the ‘trial by media’ contributed to her sentence in such a high profile and internationally reported child abuse case. My mother read about this case in an Australian newspaper and cried.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The ex-husband's name is Yudai? That's a fitting name for him because in English it sounds like "You Die." For what you've done to an innocent 5-year old child I certainly hope...you die.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )


How can anyone make excuses for this woman?

Because I've seen the effects of sustained domestic violence on women, an equation that generally involves more than one generation's worth of abuse, ie that they themselves were neglected as a child and, hence, think it's "normal".

And that I distrust the chauvinist and unenlightened nature of the judiciary.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The woman did not take Yua to the hospital in late February last year when her daughter's condition seriously deteriorated

If she is sick in jail, will they wait and see too ? .

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A male supplementary judge expressed hope that because Yua has a little brother, the mother will finish serving her jail term and move on in life.

Seriously? "move on in life"?? I hope what she did to her own child (by refusing to help her in any sense of the word) follows her around for the rest of her life, eats away at her from the inside out, and leads to a long-suffering, horrible, and miserable death... which would still be better than this "mother" deserves. And why on earth would they reunite this monster and son? They need to keep him as far away from her as humanly possible, so that he has a chance at growing up to be everything his mother and father are not.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Now let's see if the husband gets the punishment he deserves

They both deserve death, at the soonest possible convenience. No question about that.

Its likely the husband will get a heavier sentence, though. Whatever wise judges deem "fair" will not be enough as we already know.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

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