PARENTS whose daughter died after they kept her locked up in a tiny room for about 15 years have been arrested.
According to Japan Times, Airi Kakimoto (33) was found dead on 18 December at a home in Osaka, central Japan.
Investigators believe that Airi’s mum, Yukari (53) and dad, Yasutaka (55) kept her shut up in a room as small as a prison cell since she was a teenager, apparently because she had a mental illness that made her violent.
The room was unheated, had no windows, and had a tube inserted into it from which Airi could drink water from a tank set up outside.
Her parents had about 10 CCTV cameras installed around her room and a 2 metre high fence securing the property.
Airi’s parents allegedly only fed her one meal a day, although they claimed to have imprisoned her because they found her so “adorable”. At her death she only weighed 19kg. An autopsy found she had frozen to death.
Some neighbours said they did not know anyone lived in that house, while others said they had hardly any contact with the family.
There are state resources available to those with mental illnesses in Japan, but the parents had never registered her for them. This is most likely because of the stigma attached to mental illnesses.
Masako Kageyama, an associate professor of public health and nursing at Osaka University is quoted in the report as saying: “It is not unusual for families of patients suffering from mental illnesses to think that the condition brings shame, and instead choose not to consult anyone and isolate themselves.”
Airi’s parents have been arrested on charges of abandoning the body of their dead daughter.