• Kyodo


Prosecutors demanded 10 years in prison Friday for the mother of a 12-year-old boy and a woman helping to look after him for allegedly killing him in 2002 by confining him and starving him to death.

In their summation in the Osaka District Court, lawyers for 38-year-old Chie Osako, the mother of the boy, Yuki, and Michiko Kawaguchi, 40, argued the women were not guilty as they did not anticipate he would die from the treatment.

The judge’s ruling is scheduled to be handed down Oct. 26.

According to the prosecution, the two locked the boy in a room in Osako’s apartment in Sumiyoshi Ward, Osaka, between January 2001 and August 2002 on the pretext of giving him “treatment” because he allegedly had been hurting himself, including hitting his head against the wall.

In April 2002, they began giving him only liquid food once a day and on the evening of Aug. 12, 2002, the boy died of acute pulmonary edema and malnutrition.

According to investigators, Kawaguchi, an acquaintance of Osako, began looking after Yuki around 1997, giving him his meals while Osako was at work.

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