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Yokohama mother arrested after 3-yr-old girl left at home with severe burns

YOKOHAMA -- The mother of a 3-year-old girl was arrested here on March 5 for allegedly leaving her daughter at home after the girl suffered severe burns.

According to Kanagawa Prefectural Police, 22-year-old Kaho Hashimoto is suspected of leaving her daughter at their home in Yokohama's Tsurumi Ward, south of Tokyo, and failing to seek medical help after the little girl sustained burns mostly to her back around noon on March 4. Hashimoto and 21-year-old Satoshi Tanaka, who also lives in the apartment, were arrested on suspicion of abandonment by a person responsible for protection.

"I turned on the hot water by mistake when I was giving my daughter a shower," Hashimoto was quoted as telling police. Investigators added that Hashimoto and Tanaka had stated they "went out to play pachinko" after the little girl's injury, and have admitted to the allegations.

Plastic wrap had apparently been used to cover the little girl's back and midsection. The burns are expected to require at least three months of treatment in the hospital.

According to the prefectural police's Tsurumi Station, Hashimoto's 5-year-old son also lives in the household. The incident was discovered when the boy went to a neighbor's home on the afternoon of March 4 and said, "My mom isn't here," and the neighbor called police.

The little girl was lying down and apparently barely conscious when officers arrived at the apartment.

(Japanese original by Hong Minhyang, Yokohama Bureau)

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