Tokyo woman sentenced to eight years in prison over fatal abuse of 5-year-old daughter
Japan Times -- Sep 18
The mother of Yua Funato was given an eight-year prison term by the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday for parental neglect that led to the death last year of her 5-year-old daughter.

Yuri Funato, 27, was accused of causing the death of Yua in March last year due to sepsis after the girl developed pneumonia. Funato had not fed the girl adequately since around late January that year and took no action despite being aware of her then-husband’s abuse of Yua, according to the indictment.

In the trial, prosecutors said Funato prioritized her relationship with her then-husband and Yua’s 34-year-old stepfather, Yudai Funato, over her daughter’s life. The couple are now divorced.

“She failed to do a parent’s bare minimum of protecting her child by contacting a medical facility or her own parents,” they said, seeking an 11-year prison term.

In late February last year, Yuri Funato did not take Yua to the hospital despite her condition seriously deteriorating after the abuse allegedly inflicted by her stepfather.

Defense lawyers for Funato argued she was powerless to stop her then-husband, as she had been the target of his “relentless psychological abuse,” and had asked that she be given no more than a five-year prison term.

The court acknowledged the psychological abuse Funato suffered at the hands of her former husband but said it “cannot be a factor that would greatly reduce her responsibility.”

“You can easily imagine how deep the suffering, sadness and despair” of Yua was, said presiding Judge Minoru Morishita when handing down the ruling.

Morishita also ruled that the accused had sometimes resisted the instructions of her then-husband, which he said showed she had acted on her own will in abusing the child.

Yudai Funato has also been indicted on charges of assaulting the child and negligence resulting in her death. His trial will start on Oct. 1.

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
May 26
The Japanese government has lifted the state of emergency in the last five of the country's 47 prefectures. (NHK)
May 26
The government will carry out support measures to shore up demand in the travel and restaurant industries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, starting late July, sources said Monday. (Japan Times)
May 26
One of Japan’s major airlines plans to make the wearing of face masks compulsory as the industry shifts toward operating in a new coronavirus pandemic normal. (Japan Times)
May 26
Japanese consumers are spending more on masks, cleaning products and personal sanitizers while sales of makeup and motion sickness medicine take a major hit. (Nikkei)
May 26
A pair of melons grown in the Hokkaido city of Yubari sold for ¥120,000 ($1,100) in the season's first auction on Monday, 2.4 percent of the price at last year's auction. (Japan Times)
May 25
Japanese medical institutions are seeing a lightening in their coronavirus caseload, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Sunday, in yet another indication the government is set to imminently lift a state of emergency over the Tokyo metro area and Hokkaido. (Japan Today)
May 25
The Japanese capital suffered more than 200 excess fatalities from pneumonia and other coronavirus symptoms early in the outbreak, dwarfing the period's officially recorded 16 from the new disease. (Nikkei)
May 25
The local government in the city of Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, has announced that a person who traveled from the Philippines had developed rabies — the first case in Japan in 14 years. (Japan Times)
May 25
Over 40 percent of the coronavirus-linked deaths in Osaka involve hospital infections, sources in the prefectural government told Jiji Press on Saturday. (Japan Times)
May 24
The sumo world is grappling with its latest crisis as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed the life of a 28-year-old wrestler and forced the cancellation of the sport's showpiece May tournament. (Japan Today)