Nursery school employee arrested for child abuse

Posted on April 6, 2016. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

TOKYO — January 28th, 2016

Police in Tokyo’s Kita Ward have arrested a 28-year-old female nursery school employee on suspicion of abusing a 6-year-old boy at the facility earlier this month.

According to police, the suspect, Manami Nanmoku, a teacher at Kids Style Akabane-en, is suspected of tying the boy’s hands together and yanking off duct-tape which she had put on the boy’s mouth and eyes, on Jan 15, Sankei Shimbun reported.

The boy reported the abuse to his parents who contacted police on Jan 20.

Nanmoku has denied the charge, but police said other staff had seen her hitting and kicking other children before.

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Firefighter scalds girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter

Posted on April 6, 2016. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

TOCHIGI — March 24th, 2016

Police in Sakura, Tochigi Prefecture, have arrested a firefighter on suspicion of scalding his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter last month.

The suspect, Reiji Suzuki, a 20-year-old firefighter at Yaita Fire Department, is suspected of physically assaulting the child by scalding her back at their residence in Sakura City on Feb 23, Fuji TV reported. Doctors said the girl’s injuries will take about six weeks to heal.

The incident came to light when the mother, 22, came home from work and noticed the burns on her daughter’s body. She took the girl to the hospital. Doctors were suspicious that burns were spread over the child’s body from her back to legs and notified police. Police believe that Suzuki poured boiling water on the girl, but he has denied the charge.

Suzuki was initially arrested on March 3 on suspicion of physically assaulting his girlfriend with a pair of scissors.

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Man arrested for punching 2-year-old son in face

Posted on April 6, 2016. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

FUKUOKA — April 1st, 2016

Police in Ashiya, Fukuoka Prefecture, have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of physically abusing his 2-year-old son.

The suspect, Yoichi Minagawa, an office employee, is suspected of punching his son in the face, bruising his nose, at home early Tuesday morning, Sankei Shimbun reported.

This incident came to light after Minagawa’s wife called 119 when she noticed her son’s nose bleeding a lot. Paramedics who treated the boy reported the incident to police.

According to police, Minagawa came home drunk and has said he doesn’t remember doing anything to his son.

Also, multiple scars and bruises were found on the son’s body, leading police to believe that Minagawa has used violence on his son in the past. They are also questioning the boy’s mother for further details.

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Mother suspected in fatal abuse of 10-month-old girl

Posted on December 30, 2015. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

A woman currently hospitalized due to an emotional disturbance is suspected of fatally abusing her 10-month-old daughter, police in Kochi said.

According to police, the 40-year-old mother of Anzu Yoshimoto called a daycare center at around 10 a.m. on Oct 14 and said that her daughter was not well, Fuji TV reported Wednesday. The daycare center called ambulance which went to the woman’s home and found Anzu in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. She was taken to hospital where she was confirmed dead on arrival.

Local media reported that on Oct 13, neighbors heard a loud angry shout and a girl crying inside the apartment.

An autopsy showed that the cause of Anzu’s death was acute subdural hematoma due to an external strong impact to her head, and the time of death was around 7 a.m. She also had a broken left leg and signs of bruises on her arms.

Police said Anzu’s mother suffered a nervous breakdown after she called the daycare center and has been hospitalized since Oct 14. They plan to question her after she recovers.

Meanwhile, local media reported that neighbors contacted police in June, expressing concern that Anzu was being abused after they heard her crying. The police notified the local child welfare center which told them there was no evidence of abuse at that time.

The woman also has a 5-year-old son.

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Man jailed for 6 years for beating, coercing stepson to commit suicide

Posted on December 30, 2015. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

TOKYO —

A 42-year-old man, who was arrested for abusing his 14-year-old stepson and coercing the boy to commit suicide in 2014, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

The Tokyo District Court handed down its ruling on Akira Murayama on Thursday, Fuji TV reported. Murayama had testified that he beat his stepson Yuito but denied ever telling him to commit suicide.

The court heard that Murayama violently hit the boy across the face, chest, and other parts of his body on July 29, 2014. The boy’s mother found him hanging by his neck above his bed at their apartment in Nishi-Tokyo at around 9 a.m. on July 30. The mother called 119 and the boy was taken to hospital where he died a short time later.

At the hospital, medical personnel discovered bruising all over the boy’s body. Police later arrested Murayama on a charge of assault.

Yuito’s mother told police that when Murayama beat him on July 29, he told the boy he should kill himself within 24 hours.

Murayama told the court that the boy’s mother also beat the boy.

After his arrest for assault, Murayama said he had been disciplining his stepson since April 2013, hoping it would make him stronger. He also forced the boy to wear a face mask after telling him that he had bad breath.

Yuito’s classmates said that when he attended a sports meet in 2014 they could see bruises on his arms and legs.

The court heard that Murayama refused to let Yuito go to school for about two months before his suicide.

Murayama had been living with Yuito and his mother since 2011.

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Man, girlfriend arrested for making his 2-year-old son smoke

Posted on December 30, 2015. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

NAGOYA —

Police in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, have arrested a 24-year-old man and his 16-year-old girlfriend after they forcefully made ​​his 2-year-old son smoke a cigarette.

According to police, Shun Habuchi, an unemployed resident of Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, and his 16-year-old girlfriend who cannot be named because she is a minor, are believed to have made Habuchi’s son smoke a cigarette on Nov 11, Fuji TV reported.

They used a smartphone to film making ​​the boy smoke a lit cigarette and posted it on Habuchi’s Facebook account the next day.

Police said the couple, who have been charged with child abuse, have admitted to the charge and were quoted by police as saying they did it for fun. They also said they had given the boy a lit cigarette many times.

Police said Habuchi and the girl met on Facebook and started dating in early November. They are currently living in a house with the girl’s older brother and her mother.

Police said the 2-year-old boy has been taken to a child welfare center.

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16-day-old girl dies after being put in trash can by parents

Posted on December 30, 2015. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

YAMAGATA —

Police in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, have arrested a 23-year-old man and his 17-year-old wife over the fatal abuse of their 16-day-old daughter. The infant died after she was placed in a trash can, Fuji TV reported.

According to police, Yoshimi Suzuki, who is unemployed, and his wife who cannot be named because she is a minor, are suspected of putting their daughter Misora in a garbage bag and then placing the bag inside a trash can in their bedroom at around 10 p.m. on May 7. Misora suffocated to death.

Suzuki noticed that his daughter wasn’t moving and called 119. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead two hours later. The hospital notified police.

The couple, who were arrested on Sunday, have admitted to the charge and said they did it because their baby was crying really loudly while they were trying to play video games, police said.

The bin was 20 cms high and 20 cms in diameter. Suzuki and his wife were quoted by police as saying they didn’t think their daughter would die.

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42-year-old man arrested for attempting to strangle 6-year-old son to death

Posted on December 30, 2015. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Child Custody and Visitation | Tags: , , , |

YOKOHAMA —

Police in Yokohama said Monday they have arrested a 42-year-old man on suspicion of attempting to murder his 6-year-old son.

Shunsuke Okudera, an office employee, is suspected of attempting to strangle his son to death at their home at around 11 p.m. on Sunday, Fuji TV reported.

Okudera’s mother, who lives with them, called 110 reporting her grandson had been strangled by her son. When police arrived at the residence, the son was lying on the floor in the living room. Okudera admitted to the charge and was arrested at the scene.

Police said the boy is in a coma.

So far, Okudera has not said anything to police about why he attacked his son.

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Man arrested for beating 4-month-old daughter

Posted on February 23, 2015. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

Feb. 21, 2015 -HIROSHIMA —

Police in Kumano, Hiroshima Prefecture, have arrested a 23-year-old unemployed man on suspicion of abusing his 4-month-old daughter.

According to police, Keita Sudo beat his daughter about the head, causing a skull fracture, last Nov 3, NTV reported Friday. His wife, who was away at the time, later noticed a bruise on her daughter’s forehead. As she seemed unwell, the couple took her to the hospital. Sudo told the doctor that he did not know what had caused the bruise, police said.

The next day, the hospital reported the incident to a child consultation center in Hiroshima as a case of suspected child abuse. The center then notified police.

Police said Sudo has denied abusing his daughter who spent a week in hospital recovering from her injury.

Japan Today

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Man arrested for forcing 1-year-old daughter to sit on kerosene heater

Posted on December 7, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

KUMAMOTO — Nov. 11th, 2014

Police in Takamori, Kumamoto Prefecture, said Monday they have arrested a 46-year-old man for abusing his one-year-old daughter after he forced her to sit on a kerosene heater, burning her legs and buttocks.

Police said the incident occurred late last month and identified the suspect as Hisao Fukuyama, who lives with his wife and three children.

Fukuyama was quoted by police as saying that he disciplined his daughter in front of the rest of the family because she wouldn’t do as she was told, NTV reported.

Meanwhile, local media reported Monday that Fukuyama’s wife consulted police last month about his abuse.

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Parents arrested for starving 3-year-old daughter to death

Posted on December 7, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

OSAKA — Nov. 21st, 2014

Police in Ibaraki City, Osaka, have arrested a 22-year-old man and his 19-year-old wife for allegedly starving their 3-year-old daughter to death earlier this year.

Police said Yuki Kishimoto and his wife, who cannot be named because she is a minor, have denied the charge.

NTV reported that the couple began depriving their daughter Sayane of food in February, leaving her severely malnourished. Kishimoto called 119 on June 15 and said that Sayane had lost consciousness. She was taken to hospital where she died later.

An autopsy revealed bits of candle wax, aluminium foil and onion skin in the girl’s stomach. Doctors said she weighed only 8 kilograms, about half the weight of a normal child her age.

Police quoted the Kishimotos as saying they had not abused their child and that she had suddenly become very frail only days before her death. They also said Sayane suffered from a muscular disorder, congenital myopathy, since she was born, which they believe caused her death.

However, police said that while the hospital confirmed Sayane had the muscular disorder, the autopsy revealed malnutrition as the cause of death, NTV reported.

Media also reported that the medical examiner found numerous bruises and other marks indicating physical abuse on the Sayane’s body.

The couple also has a son but police said there were no signs that he had been abused.

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Man arrested for abusing 4-month-old daughter

Posted on December 7, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

SAPPORO — Nov. 27th, 2014

Police in Sapporo have arrested a 26-year-old man for abusing his 4-month-old daughter during the summer.

According to police, Toshiyuki Miyamoto began beating his daughter Yuki sometime in July of this year. The abuse which included hitting her in the head and face, continued for almost a month, TV Asahi reported Wednesday.

Yuki was hospitalized serious head and brain injuries. Police said that on Aug 5, Yuki’s condition took a sudden turn for the worse and she began convulsing uncontrollably and fell unconscious. Miyamoto and his 22-year-old wife took their daughter to the hospital where nurses noticed signs of Yuki’s abuse and notified both the police and child protective services.

Yuki’s mother told police she never noticed abuse of any kind.

Miyamoto was quoted by police as saying he started beating his daughter everyday after he was forced to quit his job and remain at home, TV Asahi reported. He said the stress became too much.

Police said Yuki remains in a coma.

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Hiroshima woman arrested over death of newborn baby

Posted on December 7, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

HIROSHIMA — Dec. 4th, 2014

A 27-year-old woman has been arrested in Hiroshima for allegedly killing her newborn baby and then placing the body in a closet of her home.

According to police, Aoi Ota gave birth to a boy on the second floor of her home in Hiroshima on Nov 15, and then killed him by covering his mouth and nose.

TBS reported Thursday that although six people were living in the house, including Ota’s husband and both her parents and her brother, only Ota was present on the second floor at the time of the incident.

Police said Ota was arrested on Nov 20 for stealing about 100,000 yen from the store where she worked.

On the same day, Ota’s relative opened the closet and discovered the infant’s body inside, and then phoned police.

Police quoted Ota as saying that she did not kill her baby but she admitted to disposing of his body.

Ota’s husband told police he thought his wife had had a miscarriage.

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Body of second newborn infant found in Shizuoka home

Posted on October 17, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

SHIZUOKA —

Police in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture, said Saturday they have found the the body of a second newborn child in the home of a 28-year-old woman.

According to police, the woman, identified as Isumi Takano, who works part-time at a bar, gave birth to twins at home at the end of September. The first body was discovered on Thursday and the second on Friday.

Takano was quoted by police as saying both infants were hers and that she couldn’t take care of them.

Police were first alerted by a call from the local welfare office on Thursday. The welfare officer told police that Takano, who had looked heavily pregnant during a recent visit, came to the office again on Thursday for consultation, but there were no signs of pregnancy.

On Thursday night, police visited the woman’s home and found the dead infant wrapped in foam. The second infant was found wrapped in plastic and placed in a box.

Takano lives with her mother and two other children.

Police have released no information on the children’s father.

Japan Today

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Parents arrested for chaining 8-year-old son inside house

Posted on October 17, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

SHIGA — Oct. 9th, 2014

Police in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested a couple for chaining their 8-year-old son to a column in their livingroom.

According to police, a friend of the boy had come to visit him at around 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. He peeked in the window when no one answered the door, NTV reported. He saw the boy chained by the waist to the column and told a neighbor who called police.

Police freed the boy and arrested his parents, Yasuna Miyajima, 32, and his wife Akane, 27, when they returned home. The boy said he had been chained for about 8 hours and not allowed to go to the toilet; his father made him use a pot.

NTV reported that the boy had been absent from school for about a week in July and that when he returned, teachers noticed bruises and burns on his arm and notified a child welfare center. Welfare center staff visited the family in July; however, they found nothing out of the ordinary. They visited a second time in August but no one was at home.

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Man arrested for shooting 2-year-old son with air gun

Posted on October 17, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

HIROSHIMA — Oct. 16th, 2014

Police in Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested a 25-year-old man for inflicting serious injury on his 2-year-old son with an air gun.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Takazumi Nakajima, had been shooting his son over a period of one month with an air gun, Sports Nippon reported.

Police quoted Nakajima as saying that he had shot his son after getting angry at him for “repeatedly changing the TV channels.” The young child’s body was marked with dozens of 6 millimeter impact wounds after being hit by plastic bullets fired from his father’s air gun.

On Tuesday at around 5:25 p.m., Nakajima began shooting his son when his wife, 29, walked in. In an attempt to shield her son, she was also caught in the crossfire leaving her with injuries necessitating one week of recovery, police said.

The couple took the boy to hospital for treatment of his wounds. After examining the welts which covered the boy from his head to the lower half of his body, hospital staff called police, Sports Nippon reported.

According to the prefectural child consultation center, no previous reports of child abuse have been made against Nakajima.

Japan Today

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Man arrested for abusing girlfriend’s 1-year-old son

Posted on October 17, 2014. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

Police in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, have arrested a 31-year-old man for abusing his 21-year-old girlfriend’s one-year-old son.

Police said they received a call at around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday from a woman reporting that her baby was unconscious. Police arrived at the scene shortly after and found the child, Yuto Miyafuku, unconscious on the floor of the apartment, Sports Nippon reported.

Police said they have charged the woman’s boyfriend, Yoshimitsu Oishi, with inflicting bodily harm on the child by violently shaking his head which resulted in a serious cerebral contusion.

The boy’s mother went out prior to the incident. Oishi was quoted by police as saying that Yuto wouldn’t stop crying, so he kept on shaking him.

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Mother arrested for burning daughter with lighter

Posted on August 20, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

 AUG. 20, 2013 – Gunma – Japan Today

Police said Monday they have arrested a 35-year-old woman for abuse after she put a cigarette lighter against her 5-year-old daughter’s body.

According to police,  Maki Fukuchi, a resident of Ota in Gunma Prefecture, repeatedly burned her daughter’s stomach and right leg with a lighter since the end of July, TBS reported. A child counseling center notified police about possible domestic violence.

Fukuchi was quoted by police as saying, “I didn’t do it. She did it to herself.”

GUNMA

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Man arrested for leaving children in car, suspected of killing their mother

Posted on July 27, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

CRIME JUL. 20, 2013 – OITA —

Police in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, said Friday that a man who was arrested for abandoning his two young children in a car may have also murdered their mother.

According to police, the two children, a 2-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy, were found in a car parked outside a foster home on Thursday morning. NTV reported that the car’s owner, a 38-year-old woman, was missing and that the police questioned her partner Hiroshi Kawano, a 33-year-old occupation therapist and father of the two children. Kawano and the victim are not married, police said.

On Friday, Kawano admitted abandoning the two children in the car and said he had put their mother’s body in a suitcase and dumped it in the woods, according to the NTV report. Police found the body Friday morning, adding that it appeared she had been strangled to death.

NTV quoted police as saying that Kawano has hinted murdering the woman but is saying nothing else. Police said he has initially been charged with abandoning a body.

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NPA refers record number of child abuse victims to consultation centers in 2012

Posted on March 9, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , |

 MAR. 09, 2013 TOKYO —

The National Police Agency (NPA) said this week that officers referred a record high 16,387 child abuse victims to child consultation centers nationwide in 2012 last year.

According to the NPA, the figures, which mark a 42.1% increase on the previous year, are the highest since records began in 2004, when just 962 referrals were made. The 2012 figure, a 17-fold increase on that number, has been attributed to improved public awareness over the issue and an increased focus on addressing child abuse cases at an early stage in cooperation with child consultation centers, said an agency official.

Fuji TV reported that of the total, 8,266 children under 18 years of age were referred due to having suffered psychological abuse. Around 65% of psychological abuse cases, totaling 5,431, involved one parent physically assaulting the other in the presence of the child. In addition, 5,222 referrals were on behalf of victims of physical abuse, Fuji reported.

The NPA also announced that 2,736 referrals were made on behalf of children left unfed or otherwise uncared for, while 163 were for children who had suffered sexual abuse.

The NPA said that police forces refer victims of abuse to child consultation centers, who are then tasked with taking steps to protect the children, such as taking them into protective custody and providing counseling to parents.

Japan Today

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72 Osaka teachers (18% of Osaka schools) confess to hitting students in questionnaire

Posted on February 17, 2013. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, Bullying | Tags: , , , |

 Feb. 16, 2013 – OSAKA —

The Osaka Board of Education has carried out a survey of 185 public schools to assess the extent of physical discipline being administered by staff.

The questionnaire was distributed to education professionals at each school, and included questions about using physical violence in an attempt to motivate students.

Of the 185 schools involved in the survey, staff at 33 schools admitted to having hit students, TBS reported Saturday. The responses indicated that 72 staff members admitted to having committed a total of 115 acts of violence against students.

The board says it intends to send a similar questionnaire to students from all 185 schools by the end of the month.

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Man gets 12 years for starving baby son to death

Posted on September 15, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

CRIME SEP. 14, 2012 -CHIBA —
A man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for starving his 2-year-old son to death last year at their home in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture.

According to the ruling, Yuzo Kosaka, 29, and his wife Satomi, 39, failed to provide enough food for their son Soshi, resulting in his eventual death from starvation at the age of 2 years and 10 months, TV Asahi reported.

Prosecutors told the court that at the time of his death, Soshi had weighed less than half the average for a boy of his age. They also said that Soshi had suffered from an intestinal obstruction after eating hair and paper from his diaper, TV Asahi reported.

The boy’s parents were charged with parental negligence resulting in death. Satomi Kosaka was sentenced to 7 years in prison in an earlier trial. She had pleaded guilty to the charge. Her lawyer told the court that emotionally and psychologically, she was being controlled by her husband, 11 years her junior, and that as such, she was unable to seek advice from childcare professionals.

Japan Today

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Unwanted Pregnancies need to be discussed

Posted on September 3, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death, mental health | Tags: , , , , |

By PHILIP BRASOR (Japan Times)

Two weeks ago a 17-year-old girl collapsed in a shopping mall in Hiroshima and was rushed to the hospital. At the same time a dead fetus was found on the floor in the corner of the mall’s food court. The girl eventually admitted that she had just given birth to the child.
On Aug. 6 a baby’s corpse with the umbilical cord still attached was discovered in a plastic bag at a refuse collection station in Mie Prefecture. A 24-year-old woman who lived nearby was later arrested. She had given birth to the baby about a week earlier.On Aug. 9, a cleaning person found the body of an infant wrapped in a towel in a train station rest room in Hamamatsu. An autopsy revealed that the baby was born shortly before it died and that the cause of death was an injury to a blood vessel.

In July, a 27-year-old woman in Osaka was arrested for possession of illegal drugs and when police searched her apartment they came across the remains of a baby in her closet. She said she had drowned the child five years earlier in a bathtub right after giving birth, which she never reported.

These four news stories appeared within the space of a month — and were not the only ones involving the killing of newborn babies — adding a dramatic dimension to a larger story that has been covered extensively by the mainstream media.

In late July the health and welfare ministry released figures showing that the number of child abuse cases in 2011 rose for the 21st straight year, which isn’t necessarily surprising since it has only been in the last two decades that local governments have addressed the problem and encouraged people to report suspected abuse. but the part of the report that attracted the most scrutiny is the section on “death from abuse.”

In 2010, 98 children died as a result of abuse, 10 more than in 2009. When the number of children who perished in “group suicides” is subtracted, the number is 51, 80 percent of which represent children less than 3 years old. Twenty-three were less than 1 year old. If you expand the time frame and include all the children known to have died “through abuse” since 2003, the year the ministry started compiling figures, you find that between that year and 2011, 193 were less than 1 year old and 39 percent of those (76) died “on the day they were born.” Ninety percent of these infants were killed by their mothers.

It doesn’t take much deductive reasoning to conclude that these babies were not wanted in the first place. One can imagine the 17-year-old girl in Hiroshima slowly realizing that she is pregnant and suffering in silence as she tries to hide her condition from friends and family, and then going into labor in a shopping mall; or the 24-year-old Mie woman, who reportedly returned to her home town from Tokyo, presumably to have her unplanned child in secret, and when that happened she panicked and put the baby in a garbage bag.

News reports avoid the word “unwanted.” They use nozomanai, which means “unhoped for.” It may sound like a trivial distinction, but the idea that one’s pregnancy was “unhoped for” leaves open the possibility that it will result in something better. “Unwanted” doesn’t sound open-ended at all, and the gist of the related news reports and editorials is what the authorities are doing to address the problem. The solution is always to help these women accept what has happened to them and “rescue” those children born into situations where they become victims of abuse.

A recent Asahi Shimbun article reported on a counseling service set up by a maternal health center in Izumi at the request of the Osaka prefectural government. The center brought in an outside organization, Ninshin (pregnancy) SOS, which specifically answers queries from women about unplanned pregnancies. The stories followed the same patterns: the high school girl who can’t confide in anyone, the woman who finds herself pregnant, and then dumped, by her married lover.

The person in charge of Ninshin SOS, Takuyo Sato, told the Asahi that the prefecture set up the service because “there are too many babies dying from abuse.” Almost all the calls they receive are from women “who don’t want to be pregnant, and haven’t seen a doctor yet.” If the caller is a minor, she is urged to talk to her parents. If it is a woman who says she can’t afford a baby, they refer her to services that can help her for free or at minimum cost. If the caller sounds depressed, they urge her to seek a friend’s assistance, or go to her local welfare office and consult a case worker.

Sato believes that the work she is doing will be effective in “preventing abuse” of children who are the products of unplanned pregnancies. “We can reduce the risk that these women will go through labor without medical attention,” she says. “We can also reduce child abuse as a result of the feelings of mothers who didn’t want to give birth to them.”

And then she adds, “It might help if they work out the problem at an early stage.” The reporter doesn’t ask for clarification, but we can assume this means at an early stage in the pregnancy. Sato doesn’t say if she advises callers about abortions or even if any of the callers ask about the procedure, though SOS’s website offers information about terminating pregnancies. Abortion is never discussed in relation to this particular problem in the media. As it stands, hundreds of thousands of Japanese women undergo abortions in clinics and hospitals every year, even though technically abortion is illegal and not covered by any form of national insurance.

The fact that abortion is available and never discussed in the media when the topic is infanticide is like talking about suicide without mentioning intervention. Adoption should also be discussed in the same conversation, and it isn’t. As long as scared pregnant women are made to feel that their only recourse is having and raising a child they don’t want, it will be difficult to talk to them.

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Man held for beating girlfriend’s 4-year-old son

Posted on August 24, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

 AUG. 23, 2012 – TOKYO —

Police on Wednesday arrested a 39-year-old man for allegedly beating the 4-year-old son of his girlfriend at their apartment in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Yoshiyuki Ishibashi, beat the child repeatedly between late May and early June, TBS reported. Police said the boy was hospitalized for about two weeks. Hospital officials notified police of the child’s injuries.

Ishibashi was quoted by police as saying the “child didn’t take to me and I was trying to discipline him.”

Japan Today

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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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Baby dead ‘for a day’ as Japan mother chats on net

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

Crime Jun. 30, 2012 –

A woman whose baby boy lay dead for nearly a day while she chatted on Internet forums has been arrested in Japan, media and police said Friday.

Yumiko Takahashi knew that 19-month-old Neo was running a high fever when she checked on him on the afternoon of June 24 last year but left him lying on his bed untended, police said.

A post mortem examination revealed Neo had died around 2 pm on June 26th, police said. His mother found his lifeless body the following morning, newspaper reports said.

Takahashi, 29, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of child neglect and causing death, a spokesman for police in Otsu, western Japan said Friday, adding that the lag had been due to officers “carrying out the necessary investigations”.

Takahashi, whose first child died a few days after birth and who lost another son in a fall from an apartment balcony, told police she had been using chatrooms, media reported.

“I have sought solace in chatting on the Internet to get connected to other people for three years since I got depressed for losing my son in an accident,” broadcaster NHK quoted her as saying.

“Child raising is too much hassle.”

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Truck driver, common-law wife arrested for abusing woman’s 2-year-old daughter

Posted on June 3, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

CRIME JUN. 02, 2012 -CHIBA —

Police said Saturday they have arrested a 34-year-old man and his 20-year-old common-law wife for allegedly abusing the woman’s 2-year-old daughter at their home in Tomisato City, Chiba prefecture.

Police identified the man as Isao Tada, who works as a truck driver. He is accused of beating the girl on her face and stomping on the girl’s leg, breaking her thigh bone on May 29, Fuji TV reported. A city welfare officer observed that the girl also had swelling on her face when he visited the home to check on the woman’s 11-month-old son.

Tada has admitted to abusing the girl on more than one occasion and was quoted by police as saying he was frustrated because the girl didn’t like him, Fuji reported. The girl’s mother also admitted to beating her on May 24.

Japan Today

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Woman sits on, kills infant son

Posted on April 29, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , , |

Apr. 29, 2012 – TOKYO —

Police said Saturday they have arrested a 41-year-old woman over the death of her 2-year-old son after it was revealed that she sat on his face and chest.

The woman, who has been named as Kimie Takashima, is accused of sitting on her son Yuki at their Nerima apartment in the early hours of Friday morning, Fuji TV reported. She called her ex-husband who called 110. The boy was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said that Takashima had visited a child consultation center three times since last December because she believed her son’s mental development was slower than average.

Japan Today

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Nagano woman arrested for attempted murder after strangling 1-year-old daughter

Posted on April 28, 2012. Filed under: Abuse Neglect Death | Tags: , , , |

Apr. 24, 2012 – NAGANO —

Police said Monday they have arrested a 40-year-old woman for allegedly strangling her one-year-old daughter at their home in Iiyama, Nagano Prefecture.

The woman, who has been named as Ikue Inose, called police at around 3 .p.m. on Sunday and said that she had strangled her baby, NTV reported. Police rushed to the scene and took the child to hospital where doctors said she was suffering from organ failure.

According to police, Inose lived in the apartment with her daughter and husband, who was out at the time of the incident. An investigation is underway to ascertain the circumstances leading up to the crime.

Police said Inose is to be charged with attempted murder, but that she has so far given no motive for the crime, NTV reported.

Japan Today

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