2 elderly people die, 4 taken to hospital after choking on mochi in Tokyo

Japan Today -- Jan 03
Two women in their 80s died, while four other people aged between 88 and 100 were taken to hospital Saturday after they all choked on mochi, police and fire department officials said Sunday.

One of the women, 88, choked on the mochi at her home at around 8 a.m. and was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Each year before the New Year holidays, the National Police Agency and the Fire and Disaster Management Agency urge elderly people to be careful when eating the sticky mochi rice cakes. Authorities have advised people to cut up their mochi into small chunks and to eat it with great care, and in the presence of someone else.