Father who used stun gun to discipline children arrested

Dad used weapon on daughters, 17 and 13, and son, 11, ‘when they didn’t follow the rules’

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 29 May 2019 10:33 BST
File image of man holding stun gun.
File image of man holding stun gun. (iStock)

A father who used a stun gun to discipline his three children has been arrested in Japan.

The 45-year-old man, who was arrested on Wednesday, said he used the weapon on his two daughters, aged 17 and 13, and 11-year-old son “when they didn’t follow the rules”, according to police.

The boy suffered a minor burn on his arm, but there were no visible injuries on the girls.

The incident in the southern city of Kitakyushu comes as the latest in a series of high-profile child abuse cases that have prompted legislators to seek a ban on corporal punishment.

Five-year-old Yua Funato died last year after her dad beat and starved her in the name of discipline.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe said at the time that her death was “soul-crushing” and he promised steps to prevent more deaths.

Legislators in the powerful lower house of parliament on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to ban corporal punishment of children by their parents.

More than 50 countries - mostly in Europe - have laws prohibiting corporal punishment of children in the home, which some researchers say is an ineffective form of discipline.

Japan would be the third country in Asia to institute such a ban after Mongolia in 2016 and Nepal two years later.

The child abuse case is the latest incident involving children that has shocked Japan.

On Tuesday morning, a knife-wielding man slashed at a group of schoolgirls at a bus stop in Kawasaki city, killing an 11-year-old girl and an adult who may have been the father of one child.

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Sixteen other children between the ages of six and 12 and a woman were wounded in the attack by a middle-aged man who died later of a self-inflicted wound.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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