The father of a ten-year-old girl who died after suspected domestic violence had submitted to a child welfare center a letter in which the daughter said she had lied about being abused by her father.
Mia Kurihara was found dead at her home in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, last month. Police arrested her parents on suspicion of inflicting injuries that led to Mia's death.
Prefectural officials said a child welfare center in Kashiwa interviewed Mia's father Yuichiro in February of last year. At the time, Mia was living with relatives after being released from protective custody due to suspected domestic violence.
The officials said that Yuichiro brought to the interview a letter that he said was written by Mia.
The letter said she had lied about being beaten by her father, and that she is sorry for causing problems. The letter said she wanted to live with her family, and that she did not want to see people from the child welfare center any more.
The child welfare center didn't confirm whether Mia wrote the letter of her own free will, but decided to return her to her parents.
The officials at the Kashiwa center said they thought Mia was likely to have been forced by her father to write the letter. But the officials said they confirmed that it was also Mia's wish to go home. The officials said the center needed to do more for Mia, and that they should have visited Mia's home and school to confirm what she really wanted.