A professional exorcist is among three people arrested over the death of a woman who reportedly died after being forced to a drink large volumes of water.

Reports said Rie Fukuda, aged 51, was pinned down and made to swallow a large volume of water in what detectives said was an "exorcism" carried out by her husband and two elderly women.

Eiko Noda, 81, was arrested along with Kosai Fukuda, 52, and Keiko  Kitayama, 77, police told AFP on Friday.

Noda has been performing exorcisms for money for about three decades, Nippon Television reported, citing unnamed sources in the local police.

Noda and Fukuda told police that the dead woman "had been receiving exorcism for several years".

No details were given on the religion of those allegedly involved.

Source: AFP