Teenage girl dies in Japan 'exorcism'
A 13-year-old girl suffocated after she was strapped down and doused with water by her father and a monk who were trying to expel an "evil spirit", Japanese police have said.
Fifty-six-year-old monk Kazuaki Kinoshita and the girl's 50-year-old father Atsushi Maishigi were accused of what police described as "waterfall service": strapping the victim Tomomi Maishigi to a chair and dousing her face with water.
News reports said the two men poured water over her as an "exorcism" with the father holding the girl down while the monk chanted sutras.
Miss Maishigi's mother called an ambulance after her daughter fell unconscious, but it was too late. She was confirmed dead early the next morning.
"The cause of death is suffocation," the police official said.
A police spokesman said the attack allegedly took place in Kumamoto in the country's south on the night of August 27.
Reports said the the girl's parents had turned to the monk after the youngster had suffered several years of mental and physical ill health that doctors had not been able to resolve.
The monk, who belongs to a religious group deriving from a Buddhist sect, said that the girl was possessed by an evil spirit, the private network TBS said.
Her parents had taken her to one of the group's facilities equipped with a water pump and made her go through the dousing practice about 100 times before, the broadcaster said.
The pump pulls water from underground and draws it to a height of 2.5 metres (eight feet), from where it falls on the person sitting below, TBS said.