The number of complaints rose 9.1%. For the authorities, the increase is caused by greater awareness of psychological abuse. No official figures of how many children died in 2017 due to ill-treatment. In 2016, 77 had died, 33 of them less than a year old.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than 130,000 cases of abuse of minors in a year. This is the data that emerges from the official report of abuse allegations for the fiscal year 2017 (March 2017 - March 2018), made public by the Ministry of Health on August 30.
The official number, 133,778, represents an increase of 9.1% compared to the previous year. For the ministry, the growing number of complaints is due to the new awareness in society that psychological maltreatment - such as witnessing domestic violence - is considered an abuse.
Among the reported cases there are episodes of serious maltreatment, which sometimes lead to the death of children. In the fiscal year 2016, 77 children died due to abuse, including 28 forced into a murder-sucidio. Of the 77, 33 infants were less than a year old. In recent months, the case of little Yua Funato, who was neglected by her parents and died of pneumonia when she was only five, had upset Japanese society. For Msgr. Tarcisio Kikuchi, archbishop of Tokyo, similar tragedies occur because of the destruction and loneliness of young people and Japanese families.
According to experts, isolation from society and poverty are among the leading causes of child abuse.
During the fiscal year 2017, the majority of cases reported - that is 72,197 cases, 54% of the total - concern psychological violence (being witnesses of domestic violence, neglect and verbal violence). There are also 33,223 cases of physical violence, 26,818 cases of negligence and 1,540 of sexual abuse. For 2017 there are still no official figures of cases of child death due to abuse.
Finally, there is the problem of "missing" children. There is no trace of 28 under 18s. According to the ministry, children could be held by their parents, who prevent them from going to school. It is feared that four of them are subjected to violence, while nine could have gone abroad. "We will continue to demand municipal governments - says a ministerial official - find out where they are and ask for support if children are in danger".