Prosecutors on Monday asked the Tokyo District Court to impose an 18-year prison sentence on a woman charged with killing the 2-year-old daughter of her neighbor.

Mitsuko Yamada

Mitsuko Yamada, 37, committed “an atrocious crime based on a selfish motive,” one prosecutor said in demanding the sentence.

Yamada, of Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, has pleaded guilty to strangling Haruna Wakayama on Nov. 22, 1999, in a public lavatory near a Tokyo kindergarten and burying the body in the backyard of Yamada’s parents’ home in Oigawa, Shizuoka Prefecture.

During the trial, Yamada said she killed Wakayama because she thought by doing so she would not have to meet the girl’s mother anymore. Yamada’s son attended the same kindergarten as the elder brother of the victim.

Prosecutors said Yamada thought she was being snubbed by the girl’s mother and wanted to kill her, but since killing the mother was difficult, she killed the daughter instead.

The victim’s mother has told the court that she has no idea why she was resented by Yamada and that she wants the defendant to be given the death penalty.

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