Couple suspected of fatally beating 7-year-old in ‘wrestling game’

Posted on August 26, 2011. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

The home where 7-year-old Tsubasa Fujinaga is believed to have been fatally abused is seen in Osaka’s Nishiyodogawa Ward, where a flower seedling that the 7-year-old was apparently growing still stands. (Mainichi)

OSAKA — A man and woman accused of unleashing a deadly beating on the woman’s 7-year-old son have been arrested, law enforcers said.

Arrested were Masatomo Morita, 44, and his wife Ryoko, 29. Morita has reportedly admitted to the accusations and told police he and his wife were “wrestling” with 7-year-old Tsubasa Fujinaga before the boy’s death.

“I threw him in a wrestling game at home. My wife then pushed him over,” Morita is quoted as telling police. Morita’s wife, however, has denied the allegations against her.

Tsubasa, the son of Ryoko from a previous relationship, was thin and there were bruises on his body, as well as what appeared to be cigarette burns. Neighbors said that they had sometimes heard the Moritas yelling angrily, and police suspect that the boy may have been abused on a daily basis.

The couple is accused of inflicting injuries on Tsubasa at their home in Osaka’s Nishiyodogawa Ward on the afternoon of Aug. 25, resulting in his death in the predawn hours of the following morning.

Police said that Tsubasa’s mother phoned emergency services on the evening of Aug. 25, saying, “We were playing with our son, doing wrestling moves on him, when something happened to him.”

At the time rescuers arrived, Tsubasa was unconscious in critical condition. A doctor concluded that he appeared to have suffered a brain hemorrhage.

The couple had lived with Tsubasa and another 2-year-old son. Previously Tsubasa had been living at a childcare facility, but he moved in with his mother and stepfather in April this year. Another younger brother of Tsubasa, aged 4, is living at a childcare institution.

Click here for the original Japanese story

(Mainichi Japan) August 26, 2011

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One Response to “Couple suspected of fatally beating 7-year-old in ‘wrestling game’”

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It seems the mother and stepfather are common culprits in this type of abuse. I can’t help but think if Japan had a joint custody system this type of abuse would not happen. The biological father could report this type of abuse and obtain custody. Ideally spending time with both parents is better for the child and also less stressful for the adults. I know my ideas are not popular in Japan but somethings needs to be done to protect these children.


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