Kuwata rejects corporal punishment in sports

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TOKYO (AP) - Former major league pitcher Masumi Kuwata has spoken out against corporal punishment in sports following the suicide of a Japanese high school student who endured repeated beatings by his basketball coach.

Kuwata, who had a brief career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007, said in an interview with National Broadcaster NHK: "I don't think corporal punishment as a form of instruction makes one stronger. I think those teaching sports need to change their methods to fit the times."

According the Osaka municipal board of education, the 17-year-old student told his mother last month he had been struck 30 to 40 times the day before he hanged himself. The 47-year-old coach, whose name has not been disclosed, admitted slapping the teen when he made a mistake and said it was intended to "fire him up," the board said.

Kuwata said he hopes the suicide will lead to reforms in Japan.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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