• Kyodo


A Japanese court on Friday sentenced a 24-year-old mother to five years in prison for killing her newborn child in an airport restroom and burying the corpse in a central Tokyo park in 2019.

Sayuri Kitai from Kobe, western Japan, was found guilty by the Tokyo District Court of murdering and abandoning the body of her baby girl to whom she gave birth in the restroom of Tokyo’s Haneda airport while she was on a job hunting trip.

In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Toshiro Nohara described her acts as “selfish and short-sighted,” saying Kitai killed the baby girl to avoid any impact on her job search.

Throughout the trial, Kitai had admitted to the charges, saying, “I panicked, my mind went blank, and I found myself putting toilet paper in the baby’s mouth.”

But the judge dismissed her claim, saying, “The defendant was calm when she gave birth, as she stopped at a restaurant with the body hidden in a bag, showing no signs of disorientation.”

Prosecutors had sought a seven-year prison term for Kitai, saying she killed her baby because she thought having an infant would hinder her in her search for a job. She was a university student at the time of the incident.

According to the ruling, Kitai strangled her newborn baby with her hands after putting toilet paper in the baby’s mouth and buried the body in Italy Park in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Nov. 3, 2019.

Her defense team had asked for a suspended sentence, arguing Kitai has family problems and as such could not confide in people around her about her pregnancy.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.