• Kyodo

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Eight girls claim the former coach of their local basketball team made them run naked as punishment in a school gymnasium in Shikokuchuo, Ehime Prefecture, city and prefectural officials said Friday.

The 49-year-old former coach, an official of the Shikokuchuo government, forced the students, aged 10 to 12, to run naked three times during summer vacation and after school in August and September, the officials said.

He also hit them on the head, and half the students have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, the officials said.

Some of the students claim they were filmed.

The former coach denied the allegations, the officials said.

“I did make them take off their (outer) pants but I did not make them naked,” the former coach was quoted by the city as saying. “It was to infuse fighting spirit in them to win a competition and I did not consider them as sexual objects.”

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