A Japanese man alleged to have
abducted a schoolgirl and hidden her in his room for almost a decade in the home he shared with his mother has been arrested.
Nobuyuki Sato, 37, was charged with abducting a minor and
battery, police said.
Nobuyuki Sato has been examined and found mentally capable
He was taken into police custody after
undergoing two weeks of mental checkups to determine whether he was mentally fit to face criminal charges.
Police said that Mr Sato had admitted the "main points of
The nine-year-old schoolgirl was seized in November 1990 and kept in the first floor of the house Mr Sato shared with his mother in Niigata, 250km (160 miles) north-west of Tokyo.
Mr Sato struck fear into the girl, now a 19-year-old woman,
with beatings and verbal lashings, police said.
He was detained on 28 January, when his mother, 73, called a doctor after noticing his strange behaviour.
His mother said she had no idea that the girl was being kept in her son's room.
But police say they suspect she had
some inkling that the girl was being kept captive but was
afraid of her son and his violent outbursts.
During the time in captivity, the suspect cut the girl's hair, shared his clothes with her and occasionally gave her
baths, according to a police investigation.
According to press reports, she lived without a toilet and bathroom, eating instant food or
meals cooked by her kidnapper's mother.
For entertainment, the victim reportedly had a radio for eight
years, and was only allowed to watch television in the last year of her captivity.
"I was too scared to escape and eventually lost the energy to
escape," the woman was quoted as telling police.
In her terror, she reportedly found it impossible to leave
even when the man left the home, which was only a few steps away
from other houses in the quiet neighbourhood.
The door, reports said, was never locked.