According to preliminary figures released National Police Agency, reports of suspected abuse rose 22.4 percent from a year earlier and reached a record high of 80,104. This number, for the first time surpassed 80,000 since the data became available in 2004. The number is up 13 fold since 2008 and the government is now addressing the issue as the police are reporting suspected abuse cases to consultation centers. Recent highly covered cases like the 10-year-old girl who died in January – Mia Kurihara. The death is being investigated as it is suspected that she died at the hands of her father. Her school and other local officials did not respond to her calls for help.
As part of the overall cases, 57,326 children were suspected of falling victim to psychological abuse, accounting for 70 percent of the total cases. In 7,699 cases, children were suspected of being neglected. Sexual abuse was reported in some cases as 258 children were part of this group. According to the report, all catagories saw an increase in cases from 2017 to 2018.
In the most recent case in the news, the father of Kurihara allegedly forced his daughter to endure cold water from the shower, and her mother has now been arrested for not protecting the safety of her daughter. In another case, insufficient sharing of information was also a factor in this case. The young girl in one case was only 12 kg (30 lbs) when she died as she suffered physical abuse and food deprivation by her mother and stepfather.
Clearly some catagories of crime have decreased but there is particular emphasis on child abuse in recent news stories.