Child abuse in Japan hits record high of 2,170 cases in 2021


MOSCOW, Feb. 3 — Cases of child abuse in Japan hit a record high of 2,170 cases in 2021 due to limited opportunities for social workers to prevent ill-treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Sputnik.

According to a report by Japanese news agency Kyodo on Thursday, citing the National Police Agency (NPA), the figure represents a 1.7 per cent increase compared with 2020.

The number of children under 18 years placed in Japanese protection centres due to suspicion of abuse also increased by 1 per cent in 2021 and reached a historic high of 108,050 cases, with the figure exceeding 100,000 for the second year in a row.

As for categories, the Japanese police registered 80,299 cases of emotional abuse, 19,185 of physical abuse, 8,270 of neglect, and 296 of sexual abuse in 2021.

“As the novel coronavirus pandemic is feared to reduce opportunities to watch over children, we will continue to monitor information that could lead to uncovering abuse,” an NPA official was quoted as saying.

According to the report, the increase in cases of child abuse in Japan was primarily caused by strict COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders that impeded welfare workers from identifying and preventing possible crimes against minors.