A couple in the western Tokyo suburb of Machida were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of allowing their 3-year-old daughter to die by not giving her enough food, Tokyo police said.

Arrested were Susumu Uchitomi, a 34-year-old newspaper deliveryman, and his 31-year-old wife, Yuki.

According to police, the couple had not given their daughter, Rio, enough food since around last August, after they became frustrated because she would not listen to them.

The girl is believed to have died at around 2 p.m. Friday, choking on her own vomit, police said. Her father noticed something wrong about two hours later and called an ambulance.

Investigators said the girl repeatedly vomited and suffered diarrhea, and at the time of her death she weighed just 8 kg, the average weight of a 1-year-old.

The couple have owned up to the allegations, saying they did not take the girl to a hospital because they did not have the money and did not want the abuse to be discovered.

The girl had burn marks on her legs, and police said they suspect her parents also beat her.

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.