Five-year old Yua Funato was found unconscious at a Tokyo apartment in March, her feet severely frostbitten and her face and body covered with bruises that were inflicted by her 33-year-old stepfather. She was later pronounced dead at a hospital from pneumonia-induced sepsis caused by malnutrition.

Reports said she weighed around 12 kg at the time of her death — as much as an average 2-year-old — after subsisting on one meal a day.

"Mama, I will try to make myself do better tomorrow than I did today, without being told by Papa and Mama, so please forgive me. Forgive me. I beg you," Yua scribbled in a notebook she used for drills. She was reportedly forced by her stepfather to wake up at 4 a.m. to practice writing hiragana and was frequently locked out on the balcony in near-freezing temperatures.