NODA, Chiba -- A father made his 10-year-old daughter continually stand even though she had earlier collapsed due to fatigue on the day she was found dead after an alleged assault by her parents, those close to the investigation said on Feb. 6.
Those familiar with the investigation say Nagisa Kurihara, the 31-year-old mother of Mia, and other people, provided them with details about the situation of the girl over about a month period prior to her death in late January.
According to the Chiba Prefectural Police, Mia's 41-year-old father Yuichiro Kurihara and Nagisa were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to inflict bodily injury on their daughter, by pouring cold water on her from a shower and grabbing her neck with both hands at their home in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.
It is assumed that the primary school girl, prohibited by her parents from leaving their home, was not given enough to eat for at least a few days before her death. Nagisa had allegedly informed her husband about Mia's condition through the Line free messaging application.
Yuichiro showed up for work on Jan. 7 after New Year's holidays, according to his workplace in Tokyo. However, on Jan. 21 he said he had "caught the flu" and was on sick leave.
Meanwhile, the Noda Municipal Government and other sources say Yuichiro told Mia's school on Jan. 7 that his daughter would continue to stay at Nagisa's family home in Okinawa. On Jan. 11, he told the school that his daughter "will stay in Okinawa for the rest of January" because her great-grandmother was ill.
"Yuichiro made Mia stand many times in the past. I told him to stop, but he didn't listen to me," said Nagisa in a voluntary interview before her arrest.
However, prefectural police officials think Mia's parents may have pretended that their daughter was in Okinawa for about a month before her death out of fear that their abuse would become exposed, as Mia had several bruises from previous mistreatment.
After Yuichiro informed the school about Mia's absence, it informed the Noda Municipal Government and the Kashiwa child consultation center. But neither the school nor the municipal government nor the consultation center visited Mia's home or confirmed her whereabouts. Mia's case was not brought up for discussion at a city meeting on children requiring protection that was held two days prior her death, although officials from the consultation center and the Noda Police Station had participated.
(Japanese original by Mayumi Nobuta and Shohei Kato, Chiba Bureau)