Officials at a child welfare center near Tokyo have admitted they failed to act after discovering that the father of a girl who later died of suspected domestic abuse had taken her from a relative's home.
Mia Kurihara, aged 10, was found dead at her home in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, in late January. Police arrested her parents on suspicion of inflicting injuries that led to the girl's death.
The child welfare center in Kashiwa City released Mia from temporary protective custody in December 2017, and she started living with a relative.
On February 26th last year, the father told the center's officials who were at the relative's home that he was taking Mia home that day.
The officials told him that they couldn't decide immediately if they could allow him to do so, and that they would inform him after discussing the matter.
According to Noda City officials, the Kashiwa center told them the next day that Mia was most likely back with her father. This means the center didn't take any action, even though the officials apparently thought the father had taken his daughter home without their approval.
On February 28th, the center formally decided to allow Mia to return home despite knowing that she was highly likely to be abused. The center has no records to show whether Mia was actually living with her father.
The center says it will fully cooperate with the prefecture's investigation panel.