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A Tokyo woman was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, suspended for five years, for starving her disabled daughter to death in 1999.

Tsuneko Naraoka, 48, who was her daughter Akiko’s sole guardian, precipitated a “grave and tragic” consequence by leaving her in an unsanitary, garbage-ridden apartment room in Hamura, western Tokyo, and neglecting her, said presiding Judge Nobuyuki Kiguchi of the Tokyo District Court.

But the fact that Naraoka had looked after her 16-year-old daughter, who was bed-ridden and mentally and physically disabled, almost single-handedly for 16 years should be taken into consideration, the judge said.

Naraoka, who is divorced, gave her daughter only a small amount of food and water, according to the ruling. She died in April 1999. At the time of her death, Akiko was about 140 cm tall and weighed 13 kg, or roughly the weight of a 2- or 3-year-old child.

Akiko became bed-ridden after falling ill around September 1998, but Naraoka did not take her to a hospital for fear her daughter would be admitted to a welfare facility, according to the ruling.

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