Mother in Japan admits putting newborn babies in concrete buckets

21 November 2017, 08:03

A mother in Japan has confessed to putting four newborn babies into concrete-filled buckets, saying she could not afford to raise them, police say.

Mayumi Satito turned herself in at a police station in Osaka, saying she was racked with guilt for not caring for her children, according to local media reports.

Human remains were found in four buckets at her flat the following day.

Satito told police she gave birth to the children between 1992 and 1997.

She admitted putting the babies in concrete, police said, but it is not yet known how they died.

Officers are interviewing the 53-year-old, who lives with her son, and trying to determine whether she killed them or whether they were stillborn, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Satito has been charged with abandoning bodies, but further criminal charges could be brought.

Japanese media has quoted her as saying she had no one to talk to or turn to, but it is not known why she chose to confess now.

Despite ranking as the world's third-largest economy, poverty remains a problem in Japan, particularly among women.

The country's culture can make it hard for single mothers, who still face stigma and can find it hard to return to work after having children.

More than 15% of Japanese children are living below the poverty line, according to Japanese health ministry statistics.

Poverty rates in Osaka - the commercial centre of the Japanese island of Honshu - are particularly high.