OSAKA — The Osaka High Court on Thursday rejected a lower court ruling of 13 years in prison for a 28-year-old woman who starved and beat two daughters to death and instead gave her a 15-year term.

According to the ruling, Yuri Fujiwara and her husband at the time, Tomokazu Nago, 33, together stopped feeding their eldest daughter from around October 1995 because “the child’s development was slow and she was not cute.” The girl, age 1 at the time, died from starvation in January the following year.

In July 1997, the couple’s third daughter died after Fujiwara threw her onto a low table because she would not stop crying, the ruling said.

In handing down the ruling, presiding Judge Akira Nasu said the woman’s actions were “self-centered and cold,” taking advantage of her position as parent. He determined there was definite intent to kill on the part of the defendant.

The Osaka District Court had ruled that in both cases the defendant felt she did not care whether the children died. The court acknowledged her former husband’s complicity in the first case but rejected it in the case of the third daughter.

Her former husband was sentenced to 18 years in prison, which he is currently appealing.

The prosecution maintained that in both cases there was a certain intent to kill, and that Nago was an accomplice. But the defendant said she did not intend to kill her first daughter and that her former husband was not involved.

But the judge ruled Thursday the pair conspired to make the first death appear as if it was caused by anorexia and the second death by an accident.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.