• Kyodo


A 12-year-old girl found dead at a private natural food research institute in Gifu Prefecture a week ago died of a diabetic coma, police said Monday.

Police, investigating the cause of death after the junior high school student was confirmed dead at a hospital July 18, said they reached the conclusion based on a blood test.

The girl was diabetic, according to Yohachiro Hori, representative of the Next Century Farm Research Institute in the city of Ena.

She arrived at the institute, which researches natural food, water purifying technology and other health-related issues, on July 15 and was taken to the hospital after showing abnormal signs three days later.

Last week, the prefectural government searched the institute and questioned Hori about its activities and a nutritional supplement called Shinkogen, which the girl had consumed there.

Shinkogen, which is said to be made from miniature bulrush, is developed by the institute and sold by a Tokyo-based company, where Hori serves as a representative. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government searched the company last week.

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