• Kyodo


A woman has been arrested on a charge of abandoning the body of her newborn child in a park in central Tokyo in early November last year, investigators said Monday.

The Metropolitan Police Department is also considering building a murder case against Sayuri Kitai, a 23-year-old clothing store clerk from Kobe, as a foreign substance was discovered in the throat of the baby that was partially buried when discovered.

The mother has since indicated to the police that she had thoughts of killing the child, according to the investigators.

An autopsy found that the baby died due to acute suffocation, the police said.

Kitai, who was arrested and taken into custody on Sunday, arrived at Tokyo's Haneda Airport from Kobe on Nov. 3 last year, the same day investigators suspect she buried the baby at Italy Park in Higashishinbashi, a district dotted with skyscraper office buildings and luxury high-rise condominiums.

"I gave birth to the baby in a restroom at Haneda Airport," one of them quoted Kitai as saying.

The suspect was a university student at the time of the incident and had traveled to Tokyo on a job hunting trip, according to the investigators.

The police identified Kitai based on footage from a security camera installed near the park, which showed a person resembling her holding a bag, the investigators added.

After receiving an emergency call on Nov. 8, the police disclosed that the baby's head and part of her arm were found protruding above the ground in a grassy area at the park.

Investigations into killings in Japan sometimes begin with body abandonment charges being laid before other charges like murder or manslaughter are added.

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