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Girl who died from neglect was forced to practice writing in cold, dark room in winter

This picture taken from Facebook shows Yua Funato, 5, who police say died from neglect by her parents.

TOKYO -- A 5-year-old girl who died in March of this year after her parents allegedly abused her was forced to practice writing early in the morning in a cold, dark room in winter, an investigation source has revealed.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department, there are two rooms in the apartment in Tokyo's Meguro Ward where 5-year-old Yua Funato lived with her family. However, her father Yudai, 33, mother Yuri, 25, who were arrested on suspicion of neglect resulting in the death of Yua, and their 1-year-old son used one room, while Yua slept in the other room.

The police found a notebook where Yua had written comments such as, "I promise I will try to be better tomorrow than today. Please forgive me."

The police also say that after the family moved to Tokyo in January this year, on one occasion the parents took their son to a hospital and went out to eat at a restaurant in Tokyo's Asakusa district, while leaving Yua alone in the apartment.

Yua apparently became so weak that she couldn't go to the toilet by herself before she was taken to a hospital wearing a diaper in March this year. The police found some bruises on her body and face, and believe that Yudai physically abused Yua on a daily basis.

(Japanese original by Shota Harumashi, Yoshitaka Yamamoto, Hironori Tsuchie, City News Department)

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