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A housewife arrested in the strangling of a 2-year-old girl last month said she committed the crime because she could not bear to have to spend three more years with the child’s mother if the toddler was accepted to the same local kindergarten as her own child, sources close to the case said Friday. Mitsuko Yamada, 35, has begun telling investigators that her motive for strangling Haruna Wakayama in a public toilet near Otowa Kindergarten in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward on Nov. 22 was linked to strained relations with Haruna’s mother, according to the sources. Yamada said she felt the attitude displayed by Haruna’s mother toward her two children — who were the same age as Haruna and her elder brother — had changed at some point last year, adding that she had grown tired of having to deal with Haruna’s mother. As specific examples, Yamada cited instances where Haruna’s mother scolded her children and singled them out from a group of local children, according to the sources. Because of such experiences, Yamada gradually began to feel that she did not want to see Haruna’s mother anymore, an emotion that gradually escalated into a desire to kill the little girl, the sources said.

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