• Kyodo

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The parents of a 7-year-old boy who choked to death on Konnyaku jelly filed suit Friday with the Nagoya District Court seeking around 75 million yen in damages from a food maker and a local government.

According to the suit, Ryunosuke Murata died on March 23 when he tried to eat the jelly, based on devil’s tongue, as an afternoon snack at a child-care center supervised by the city of Ise, Mie Prefecture.

His parents argue that the manufacturer of the jelly, Ace Bakery Co., should not have distributed it and that the child-care center neglected its obligation of due care.

Murata’s mother, Yuka, 45, said after filing the suit, “I do not want to see such a tragic accident again.”

In its statement, Ace Bakery said, “We offer our sincere condolences” over the death of the child. It announced later in the day it will recall the jelly.

Meanwhile, the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan said Friday that two elderly people had died after choking on similar jelly products, bringing the number of deaths related to the Konnyaku jelly since 1995 to 13.

In July 2002, an 80-year-old woman in Akita Prefecture choked on the jelly and died three months later, while a 79-year-old man in Hyogo Prefecture also died eating the jelly in June 2006. The center urges children and elderly people not to eat the jelly.

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