Japan: Couple 'force teenage girl to eat 30 poisoned dead goldfish'

Other alleged offences include tying the daughter to her bed, punching her in the face and burning her tongue with a lit cigarette

A mother and her partner have been arrested in Japan after allegedly forcing her teenage daughter to eat 30 dead, poisoned goldfish.

Yuko Ogata and boyfriend Takeshi Egami killed the fish by pouring detergent into the fish tank before forcing Ogata’s 16-year-old daughter to eat the dead fish one by one, the Japan Times reported.

The alleged abuse took place at the couple’s home in Fukuoka in south-west Japan in June of last year. 

Although the unnamed girl did not suffer any damage to her health, the incident has gained media attention due to the sharp rise in child abuse cases in Japan over the last year.

The goldfish incident was allegedly part of a pattern of abuse the daughter was subjected to on a daily basis. Last year, the couple reportedly tied her to her bed, punching her in the face and burning her tongue with a lit cigarette.

The couple had already been arrested four times since last year for alleged offences such as making the teenager daughter eat ice-cream and eggs until she threw up.

While Egami has reportedly refuted the allegations of force-feeding, Ogata has allegedly confessed her daughter was forced to eat the fish.

The incident follows reports from Japan on Monday that a 23-year-old former nursing home worker had been arrested for reportedly killing three elderly people. He allegedly threw a male and two female residents – aged in their 80s and 90s – to their deaths in 2014.

Government data from Japan’s health and welfare ministry reveals Child protection centres had to deal with a record 89,000 cases in the year ending March 2015.

The figure for incidents of abuse towards the elderly was just over 16,000, a small increase from last year.

Tetsuro Tsuzaki, the head of the Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect, told The Japan Times that the number of abuse cases in the country was “likely to continue increasing".  

He attributed the record-high figure to the combination of increased poverty, isolation of families and the increasing number of step families.

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