Photo/Illutration A Shiba Inu dog under the protection of police on Jan. 24 in Hachioji, western Tokyo (Shoko Mifune)

A man who bred and sold Kai Ken and Shiba Inu dogs, breeds that are indigenous to Japan, was arrested for repeated animal abuse and neglect, Tokyo police said March 29, citing violations of the animal law.

Takashi Ogawa, 46, who lives in Hachioji, western Tokyo, has admitted to the allegation, the Metropolitan Police Department said.

Keeping animals in an extremely small space constitutes abuse under the animal law that was revised in 2019. Leaving them in such debilitating circumstancs amounts to neglect,” which is abuse.

Tokyo police searched Ogawa’s breeding facilities in January and confirmed that 104 dogs were living in abysmal conditions, such as small cages.

Of the total, 10 dogs were significantly debilitated, and police determined that Ogawa had neglected them.

Tokyo metropolitan government issued an order to Ogawa to improve the conditions because he had not secured a breeding space for Kai Ken and Shiba Inu dogs, nor had he fed them, at his Hachioji facility.

Ogawa did not take the necessary steps to improve the situation, and the abuse continued from last December until this January, police said.

The situation prompted Tokyo officials to file a criminal complaint.

In February, Ogawa told The Asahi Shimbun there was nothing wrong with the breeding environment.

Kai Ken and Shiba Inu are designated by the central government as a national natural treasure.

(This article was written by Shoko Mifune and Ryo Oyama.)