Woman confesses to putting four newborns in concrete-filled buckets

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TOKYO — A Japanese woman was arrested Tuesday after police say she confessed to putting four newborns in concrete-filled buckets two decades ago and having been filled with guilt over not caring for her babies.

Human remains were identified in four buckets found in her condominium, an Osaka police official said, requesting anonymity due to department policy.

Mayumi Saito, 53, was arrested Tuesday on charges of abandoning bodies, a day after she turned herself in at the police station.

Saito was quoted by police as saying she put the bodies into concrete from 1992 through 1997 because she had been too poor to raise them, but she had been filled with guilt over the years.

Saito had a part-time job, but details of her work, family and comments were not available.

The causes of the babies’ deaths were unclear. It is fairly standard in Japan for criminal charges to be added later as an investigation progresses.

Although Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and has a reputation as being economically advanced, poverty remains a problem, especially among women.

Social support such as affordable daycare is lacking for women to work while child-rearing, as well as to get counseling and other help to cope with parenting duties and mental stress.

Japanese media reports quoted the woman as saying she had no one to talk to or turn to.

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