The number of child abuse cases reported to police and child welfare centers in 2013 was 21,603, a 31.8% increase over 2012, the National Police Agency announced Thursday.
It is the first time the figure has exceeded 20,000, the NPA said. Japanese media quoted an NPA official as saying that more cases are being reported because of a growing public awareness of the issue, especially at schools and hospitals. Of the total, 25 deaths due to physical abuse were reported, police said.
The NPA also said that the production and sale of child porn has been increasing for the past six years. TBS quoted an NPA official as saying 1,644 cases of child porn were reported in 2013, 48 more than in 2012.
Police said that 646 cases, or 40%, indecent photos of children (defined as being under the age of 18) were posted on smartphones.
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