Sapporo mother and boyfriend sent to prosecutors over death of 2-year-old girl
Japan Times -- Jun 08
A mother and her boyfriend in Sapporo were referred to prosecutors Friday on suspicion of assaulting her 2-year-old daughter, who was pronounced dead at a hospital earlier this week.

The suspected abuse of Kotori Ikeda occurred despite a child welfare official interviewing her mother last year following a tip and a police officer meeting with the mother and the girl in mid-May, according to investigative sources.

Rina Ikeda, 21, and her boyfriend, Kazuya Fujiwara, 24, are suspected of assaulting Kotori between early May and Wednesday at Ikeda’s home and other locations, local police have said.

Ikeda called an ambulance at around 5 a.m. Wednesday saying her daughter was ill. Kotori showed no vital signs while she was being taken to a hospital, according to the police.

The police suspect Kotori had not been fed properly and could have been regularly abused, as multiple bruises were found on her body. She weighed less than 10 kilograms, below the average weight of a girl of her age at 12 kg, according to the police.

The case comes at a time when the government is trying to boost the role of child consultation centers and their cooperation with the police in the early detection of child abuse following the death of a 5-year-old girl in parental mistreatment earlier in the year.

The case of Mia Kurihara’s death in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, shocked the nation as a series of abusive acts by her father came to light and a local welfare center and her school were found to have failed to respond properly to the girl’s repeated calls for help.

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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