Archive for July, 2012

High school boy dies of suspected heat stroke

Posted on July 30, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: |

NIIGATA — A high school boy has died of suspected heat stroke during a school baseball club training session, local police said.

At around 9:45 a.m. on July 29, police officers found a 16-year-old, first-year student at Niigata Prefectural Niitsu High School lying on a slope along a municipal road in Akiha Ward, Niigata. He was immediately pronounced dead. The boy’s name was not immediately released.

The student was among about 30 members of the school’s baseball team running along a course about 10 kilometers long around their school from around 1 p.m. the previous day as part of their training session. The team later returned to school and finished training in the evening.

The boy’s parents contacted the school on the morning of July 29 after he failed to come home, prompting local police to launch a search for him. Officers found him on the grass-covered slope along the road, which was part of the running course, later in the morning.

The temperature in Akiha Ward rose to 34.1 degrees Celsius on July 28, according to the Niigata Local Meteorological Observatory.

July 30, 2012(Mainichi Japan)

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No. of reported child abuse cases hits record high 59,862 in fiscal 2011

Posted on July 27, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

Crime Jul. 27, 2012 – 07:00AM JST ( 8 )

TOKYO —

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Thursday that a record 59,862 cases of reported child abuse were handled by child welfare centers in Japan in fiscal 2011.

The figure includes 51 deaths, of which 23 were children younger than 12 months, the ministry said.

A ministry spokesman said that growing public awareness of child abuse and greater cooperation between law enforcement officials, hospitals and welfare authorities contributed to the high number of cases coming to light, NTV reported.

The official said that many cases involved unwanted pregnancies and teenage mothers who did not know how to look after their babies and who were frequently ostracized by their local communities.

The ministry said it is studying countermeasures, including consulting with obstetricians to identify potential abusers among young mothers and offering them counseling and assistance at an early stage before their babies are born, NTV reported.

Japan Today

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Education minister announces creation of anti-bullying task force

Posted on July 27, 2012. Filed under: Bullying | Tags: , , |

TOKYO — July 26th, 2012
Hirofumi Hirano, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, has announced government plans to introduce an
anti-bullying task force within the ministry.

Hirano told a news conference that the task force is to be responsible for identifying cases of serious bullying at an early stage, liaising with schools and education boards, advising education professionals and preventing recurrence, TBS reported Wednesday.

The education ministry also announced plans to carry out an emergency survey of all elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan next month in an attempt to establish the scale of the problem and to draw up appropriate counter-measures.

The new anti-bullying task force will come into effect in early August.

Japan Today

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5 junior high boys arrested over brutal bullying of fellow student

Posted on July 26, 2012. Filed under: Bullying | Tags: , , |

NEYAGAWA, Osaka — Five junior high school students have been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a 14-year-old boy, including breaking his nose and lighting his hair on fire, the Osaka Prefectural Police announced on July 25.

The five boys — three 15-year-olds and two 13-year-olds — were quoted as telling police that “bullying (the victim) was just so much fun that we kept on doing it.” The boy went to the same school as the five accused.

The five are suspected of using a cigarette lighter to set fire to the victim’s hair at a local public park on May 20 this year — an incident one of the accused apparently filmed with his mobile phone — and punching him in the face and breaking his nose on May 28. According to police, the victim has also said he had been “giving the boys several thousand yen a month” since his first year of junior high school.

According to investigators, on May 26 the accused allegedly ordered the 14-year-old to “catch a koi” in a local river. When the boy complied, getting his trousers wet, the suspects then ordered him to “go steal some trousers hanging out to dry.” The boy was, however, caught before he could get away with the garment and taken into police custody.

Later, the suspects allegedly accused the 14-year-old of telling the police their names, and on the grounds of a Shinto shrine close to the school at least one of the suspects punched the victim in the face, breaking his nose. The incident came to light when the 14-year-old’s homeroom teacher noticed the bruises on his face and informed the school principal, who in turn consulted with police.

At a July 25 news conference, representatives of the Neyagawa Municipal Board of Education told reporters that teachers had noticed the victim was being pushed around by classmates during his first year in junior high, and that he had been moved to a different class the next school year.

“The bullying was obvious, but in the end the school was unable to prevent violence,” a senior board representative stated. “We are deeply sorry to the victim and his parents.”

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Child abuse victim wins suspension of parental custody

Posted on July 23, 2012. Filed under: Child Custody and Visitation | Tags: , , |

More than 30 petitions have been filed with family courts mainly in the metropolitan and Kansai regions to seek suspension of parental custody due to child abuse since a revision of the Civil Code came into effect in April.

Of the total, three out of six petitions filed by heads of child consultation centers have been granted and two led to temporary injunction, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

Separately, a minor who has been taken into protective custody due to abuse from her parents filed a petition for suspension of parental custody and won a provisional injunction, representing the first case in which a child abuse victim has independently sought suspension of parental custody under the revised Civil Code and won a temporary injunction.

The Mainichi interviewed officials with child consultation centers and local governments in all of Japan’s 47 prefectures, 20 government-designated municipalities and two major urban cities and received responses from certain family courts in big cities.

Many of the petitioners are believed to be relatives of child abuse victims, but a girl in her late teens filed a petition with a family court in the Chubu region through her lawyer in mid-June and won a temporary injunction nine days later.

The girl was sexually victimized by her mother’s new partner and placed in protective custody at a children’s nursing home when she was a junior high school student. She pleaded her plight to her mother who allegedly turned a deaf ear to her plea. The girl repeatedly harmed herself even at the children’s nursing home due to her traumatic experience.

Assisted by a lawyer who was introduced to her by a support group and others, she graduated from high school, left the nursing home and went on studying while working. The nursing home chief acted as her guardian and helped her go on to study and secure a place to live as guarantor because her mother could not be located.

But she had to get parental consent to be eligible for tuition reductions and exemptions and an application for school admission by summer this year. The girl refused to accept her mother as a parent, prompting her lawyer to find her mother and asking her to waive her parental rights. Her mother agreed to do so but was not contactable again, leading her daughter to file the petition to seek suspension of parental custody.

The lawyer said, “One should avoid filing a petition lightly, but minors cannot sign a contract to even buy a cell phone without parental consent. It is of great significance that the law revision has allowed her to file a petition by herself.”

Meanwhile, a family court in June granted suspension of parental custody in connection with a teenager who has been placed in protective custody at a child consultation center in the Kansai region. The center head filed the petition for fear that the child may not get a proper education and become independent due to protracted paperwork.

In other cases, family courts issued temporary injunctions because parents failed to help their children with necessary treatment.
Mainichi Shimbun

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Soka boy bullied into taking leap off school

Posted on July 20, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

Friday, July 20, 2012 Japan Times

SAITAMA — A 13-year-old boy broke bones in his waist and chest in April after being bullied into jumping off a public junior high school building in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, it was learned Friday.

The board of education believes the boy had been bullied routinely before jumping off the eaves of the second floor in a “test of courage” on April 18.

As a result of the 3-meter drop to the concrete below, the boy sustained broken bones, including in his chest. He has missed nearly all of his classes since school began in April and is still under rehabilitation.

The board did not release the name of the school nor any other details into the incident.

At the request of the boy’s parents, Saitama police are interviewing his teachers and classmates, board officials said. According to sources, at least four schoolmates were likely involved in the forced leap. Beforehand, the boy had been ordered to pay an unspecified sum to the bullies or “prove his courage” by jumping from the second floor.

Although considered a die-hard problem at schools, bullying has been thrust into the national spotlight again since the allegedly forced suicide of a 13-year-old student in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, last October recently came to light. He allegedly jumped off a condominium building after being bullied by schoolmates, who made him rehearse his own death.

In a related move Friday, the Osaka prefectural board of education said it will allow public elementary and junior high schools to suspend bullies if they fail to heed multiple warnings.

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One month old stabbed by mother

Posted on July 19, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

TOKYO —
A 1-month-old baby boy was fatally stabbed in an apartment in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward on Wednesday night, police said Thursday. The infant’s mother was found lying beside the body, police said, adding she had taken an overdose of sleeping pills.

According to police, the woman’s father visited the apartment at about 8 p.m., TV Asahi reported. He found his daughter and her baby lying on the floor in the bathroom. The baby had been stabbed in the chest. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The woman regained consciousness on Thursday morning, police said. She was quoted as saying she had been struggling to look after the baby since he was born, TV Asahi reported.

Japan Today

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‘Non-existent children’ fall through cracks because they’ve never been registered

Posted on July 14, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , , |

JUL. 14, 2012 TOKYO —
At a dorm for women in the “fuzoku” (ero-entertainment) industry, “I saw something really terrible,” Spa! (July 17) hears from a young woman it calls R-san. The story involves a small child and got Spa! thinking about the plight of “disappeared children.” Education ministry figures for last year show 5,877 children nationwide failing for one reason or another to attend elementary or junior high school. Of those, 1,191 – topping 1,000 for the first time – are listed as “whereabouts unknown.”

“There was this girl who worked in the same fuzoku place as I did,” R-san relates. “She had a little boy who would’ve been in about grade five. There was something a bit creepy about him.”

He seemed terrified at the very thought of leaving the room – a tiny room stripped of all but the most basic furniture. R’s friend was not the child’s mother. His real mother, also a fuzoku worker, got hooked on stimulant drugs and disappeared. R’s friend took the child under her wing and no doubt did her best under trying circumstances, but a child needs more. He never went to school. “I was in her room one time and I said to him, ‘Come, let’s you and me go out,’” R tells Spa! “He just shrank from me. Didn’t say anything. No expression on his face.” Soon after they moved away and R has no idea what became of them.

No one has any idea what’s become of the 1,000-plus “disappeared children,” but the glimpse R caught of the one is suggestive. Fuzoku seems a recurring factor, as is – more prominently – domestic violence. A woman grabbing her children and fleeing an abusive husband is not likely to advertise her whereabouts, and the situation is hardly conducive to a normal life for the kids.

Theoretically, it’s up to the school to check on children who are suddenly absent, but that usually means visiting the children’s homes. What can the school do when there is no home to visit? More likely still to fall through the cracks in the system are preschool children. If they are included, says an education ministry official, the ranks of the “disappeared” would likely swell to several thousand.

The story of 25-year-old “T-san” epitomizes the limbo of life among the “disappeared.” She’s 25 now, was 19 when she gave birth. “I didn’t realize I was pregnant,” she says, “and when I did realize, it was too late to have an abortion. After the baby was born, we lived with my boyfriend’s parents, but my boyfriend beat me and his father raped me and forced me into fuzoku. They took all my earnings. I put up with it for five years before I finally escaped.”

But all she escaped to was another fuzoku establishment. Spa! talks to her current boss. “Her daughter isn’t in school,” he says. “The mother is incredibly insecure. She doesn’t mistreat the girl, but she looks about three – she’s tiny and hardly talks at all. More than school, what she needs is institutional care.” But there is no indication she’s going to get it.

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Woman police officer, driving drunk, causes crash with baby daughter in back seat

Posted on July 10, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

Crime Jul. 10, 2012 – TOKYO —

Police said Monday they have arrested a female police head patrol officer for causing an accident while driving drunk in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward on Saturday. The woman had her 5-month-old baby daughter in the car with her at the time of the crash, TV Asahi reported.

The officer, who has been named as 32-year-old Yoshimi Minamoto, was reportedly driving under the influence when her car collided with another vehicle on Saturday night. Minamoto then reportedly attempted to flee the scene with her daughter, TV Asahi reported. Police say she stumbled and fell, at which point she left her daughter on the ground and ran away.

Minamoto, who was on maternity leave from police duties at the time of the incident, was tested at six times the legal alcohol limit, police were quoted as saying. During police questioning, Minamoto said: “I have been finding raising a baby stressful and hid the stress from my husband by drinking.”

A Tokyo Metropolitan Police spokesperson said, “This is a deeply deplorable incident and we will be dealing with the accused in a strict manner,” TV Asahi reported.

Japan Today

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Police refuse father’s complaints about bullies linked to son’s suicide

Posted on July 8, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Bullying | Tags: , , , , |

JUL. 08, 2012 – OTSU —
The father of a boy who committed suicide in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, due to bullying was denied the opportunity to file a complaint about his son’s assailants.

The then 13-year-old boy committed suicide by jumping from the roof of an apartment building in October of last year, according to Fuji TV. The Shiga Prefecture Board of Eduction conducted a survey among the boy’s classmates, which suggested he had been the victim of a series of assaults and sustained campaign of bullying.

The father of the boy took the survey results and other evidence to the police in an attempt to lodge a complaint against his assailants, Fuji reported. However, the man said that Otsu police have refused to accept the complaint on three occasions, claiming that complaints cannot be lodged in the event that the victim is deceased and was not murdered. They also said the boy left no suicide note indicating what might have driven him to kill himself.

Otsu police say they plan to investigate the circumstances leading up to the boy’s death.

Japan Today

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