An elderly man choking on "mochi" rice cake was saved when his daughter sucked it out with a vacuum cleaner, local fire department officials said Saturday.
The incident occurred around 7:20 a.m. on Tuesday when the man, 70, was eating soup with mochi at a house in Noboribetsu, southwestern Hokkaido, the officials said.
The woman had already extricated the mochi from her choking father by the time fire department emergency workers arrived at the house, they said.
The man was conscious and his breathing patterns, blood pressure and pulse returned to normal.
"The woman was lucky in vacuuming out the mochi, but you have to be careful as such action often hurts the inside of the mouth," a department official said.
Mochi is a seasonal delicacy in Japan made from very glutinous rice. Elderly people often choke on it as it is difficult to chew and swallow.