Japanese mum of abused girl can't forgive herself

TOKYO - A mother on trial for her daughter's death broke down in tears and said she could not forgive herself during a court hearing.

"I want to die. I want to go to a place where I can be with Yua," said Yuri Funato, 27, crying and calling her daughter's name during the fourth hearing of her lay judge trial in Tokyo.

"I don't know how to make up for it.

"I blame myself and will never forgive myself. I'm mortified and full of regret," added an emotional Funato.

Funato was indicted for abandonment resulting in the death of her five-year-old daughter.

The child died in March 2018 in Meguro Ward, Tokyo.

Funato took the witness stand at around 4pm on Friday (Sept 6), towards the end of her two-day questioning.

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She looked dazed and did not respond to questions from her defence lawyer.

Shortly before that, her father appeared in court as a witness for the defence.

He lived with Funato and Yua in Kagawa Prefecture for about a month, just before they moved to Tokyo in late January 2018.

The father spoke about the time he spent with his granddaughter and expressed regret over the abuse, saying, "I wasn't able to recognise (what was happening)".

Possibly upset over seeing her father talk about Yua, Funato remained silent even when her defence lawyer asked, "Can you answer?" and "Can't you remember?"

However, a few minutes later, she mumbled, "I want to die".

The trial will end tomorrow after closing arguments by the prosecution and defence, among other procedures.

The ruling will be handed down on Sept 17.