crime

19-year-old parents questioned over alleged abuse of 8-month-old child

73 Comments

Police are investigating a teenage couple after they brought their 8-month-old child to an emergency room in a hospital in Kasuga City, Fukuoka Prefecture, with a failing heart.

According to TV Asahi, the infant girl was admitted to the hospital at around 7 p.m. Sunday. Doctors succeeded in getting the girl’s heart beating again, but say she now appears to be in a state of brain death.

The hospital notified police that the infant exhibited bruises around the face and body, TV Asahi reported.

On Monday, police began questioning the child's parents, who are both 19 and cannot be named because they are minors. They were quoted as saying that they sometimes hit their child because she misbehaved, TV Asahi reported.

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73 Comments
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Minors, yet old enough to have kids on their own. I think old enough to face adult consequences!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yes, because a 8-month child can misbehave to the point you need to beat her.

What a waste.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How can an 8 month old child misbehave at all? They are too little to even be rebellious!

Another day, another sad sad story of child abuse. And before the Japan defenders jump up I am NOT saying it doesnt happen elsewhere - but this is Japan Today and this is the reality in what is now my home country. Im angry and upset because I care.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

An immature person should never have a child. Castrate them so they could never have children again.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Nicky I'm not so sure this is child abuse. It sounds much more like ignorance.

Now JT Readers I'd have to check my facts but as far as I know.....the local ward office only sends out a, is it a mid-wife?, once a month to check on the newborn baby. They come for only a few hours.

This was a very young couple who probably needed much much more support. I believe that most young people have no idea how a baby is going to change their lives. As far as I know, it's hard work and your patience is truly tested.

I would say shame on the family, government, and anyone around them for not recognizing that they were too young for the task. I will not simply accept the idea that this couple had any ill-intentions towards an innocent baby.

Before this happened, they needed that helping hand. Someone to reach out and bring them a moment of pause. It doesn't have to be actual child care. Go to the supermarket for them. Bring some fruits or vegetables. Take some time out and help them. Perhaps dust a little bit or make a warm pot of tea. Someone with child experience needed to be there who could explain a few things for them.

This is tragic indeed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is just the beginning like some of my fellow posters hve stated before...this will keep increasing as this country's lack of support and education is outstanding. No child protection laws, no enforcement of anything, the police and the court refuse to intervene early when its needed the most. They only step in after the child in question is either dead or left like a vegetable. It's shameless from the government to try to lie and deceit the world about how safe is this country. If people knew the whole truth about all the underreporting that goes on in here and the few "good Japanese" like us that get "silenced and octratized" because we speak the TRUTH and make them lose face. Well, no more. Time to speak up for the sake of these innocent children getting abused and murdered by this ignorant-insane so called parents.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

@Nicky Washida

How can an 8 month old child misbehave at all? They are too little to even be rebellious!

Another day, another sad sad story of child abuse. And before the Japan defenders jump up I am NOT saying it doesnt happen elsewhere - but this is Japan Today and this is the reality in what is now my home country. Im angry and upset because I care.

Thank you for thinking that way of this place. I know it must be so hard to get used to many things and this society.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Stupid people should not be allowed to have children.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It takes a second to get pregnant, 9 months to be born.

In 9 months time, a person cannot pick up a childcare book, take classes, or get childcare instructions from parents? No grandparents to check in?

It sounds like they were treating the baby like a pet, that had lost it's "kawaii" factor, when they realized it needed constant care.

Now, it's too late.

If adoption existed, this scenario might've been different.

Given up at birth, these pitifully immature 19 year old kids go back to being kids, and someone fit, who wants a baby, would get a chance to raise one.

It needs to be changed...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

cying babies are mendo ne, These kids really need a parenting license.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Pamelot I'd like to chime in again on this.

Look at the times. This is an aging society. The young have to take care of the old and the newborns. The older generation royally screwed the youth by not passing down knowledge, training and or skills on how to live. Instead they spoiled them and hope that the education system would do their parenting for them. Sorry but they don't teach childcare in Juku or high school.

I've never seen any egg experiments done' here like they do in the States. The egg is a baby. They have to care for it for a month I believe?

This generation was spoiled. In the last 5 years of dating and relationships I haven't met a woman who can cook yet. I'm the chef all the time. Some people don't even know how to sew a button on a shirt. Don't want to try either. There are many things wrong with society in Japan now. If I'm going to point the finger it would be at the older generation who have passed down nothing but economic woes to their children.

These young people are ill-equipped to deal with the pressure they are to inherit. It's not only the children. When mom and dad pass away, the government will be right there, ready to pounce. Ready to tax them for everything and / or take it away.

So just imagine what it's like for them to suddenly have a child. This new mother knew only brand bags and Izakayas just a year ago. Now suddenly she can't find the Louis Vuitton diapers, what gives??

Mom: I don't know how to make Miso Soup or Saba (Mackeral). Daddy: I can't have PSP parties with my friends anymore. I want to ride my motorcycle. I can't hear the baseball game, how do you shut this kid up?

Again, not really a fault, nor is it intentional. Just simply not ready, not prepared, and definitely not advised.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The young man was not the father of the baby, he met the mother on a game site and began living with her in October. Reportedly he didn't like the baby.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

bluewitch, I have realized that there is a lot of free support after my wife had a baby. There are visits by local government employees, free babysitting tickets, once a month baby seminars where mothers get together and have a discussion about how their babies are doing and any concerns they have, once a week 0 year old playtime at a local government owned building, once a month check ups for the babies, etc. It is all there for the mother to take advantage of, but sadly the government cannot force the mother to join these meetings.

11 ( +10 / -0 )

I don't know who should be blamed, simply a tragic story, heartbreaking . for the baby, there is no beating in the heaven.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ NetNinja:

There are plenty of mothers and fathers, who care and sacrifice for their children, give them love, support, and good upbringing- But they don't make headlines.

It always seems to be the bad ones, who get the attention...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Another looser relationship. Hopefully these deranged fools with anger management issues will looked up for life before they kills someone else.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now JT Readers I'd have to check my facts but as far as I know.....the local ward office only sends out a, is it a mid-wife?, once a month to check on the newborn baby. They come for only a few hours.

In most cases a nurse comes from the public health centre to check on newborns just once, and they usually stay for an hour or so. If there is any cause for concern they would probably visit more often, but usually it's just the one visit and after that it's up to the parents to take advantage of what is offered by the health centre and the jidoukan. There is also the 4-month health check which is done at the public health centre and visible abuse could be picked up at that time.

The kind of sad situation described in this article is universal unfortunately, so many articles about similar situations in the newspaper back home as well this year- immature parents and more often step-parents not able to deal with a baby crying and shaking/hitting/throwing them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All of those involved in the violent crime and felt under enormous pressure from their family and peers. Trying to explain the demands on young people. In Japan, they have pressure to live up to their parents expectations. Of course, not all young people lash out in a violent manner. Some excel under the pressure, many manage to get by, and others, who cannot cope, express their difficulties in other ways by quitting or becoming withdrawn. The violence is not always outward. The violent crimes by juveniles are not isolated incidents but symptoms of a far deeper malaise. The social order, has no solutions to the immense, and often complex, problems that it has itself created.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Isn't that stupid....old enough to have children and old enough to get married (if they want).......but sorry we can't name them because they are minors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!When is that stupid minor age law going to change?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan really needs to look at their education. A few parenting classes and the like would go far here I think. That and sex ed. Good sex ed, not this reproductive crap they teach at JHS. Teach them about STDs, the issues with becoming a parents and how stressful kids can be.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh, yeah! Hit a baby for misbehaving. Way to go!

It has been a bad couple of weeks for kids. It seems every second day these kinds of articles appear. How many more are going unreported?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sad crime happening so often in the news these days. Japan sure is a changing country. Young people are just not the same as when I came here. I used to never read about these cases way back. More emphasis on love of children needs to be aired on TV rather than AKB48 and that junk.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

biculturalNov. 29, 2011 - 09:45AM JST

bluewitch, I have realized that there is a lot of free support after my wife had a baby. There are visits by local government employees, free babysitting tickets, once a month baby seminars where mothers get together and have a discussion about how their babies are doing and any concerns they have, once a week 0 year old playtime at a local government owned building, once a month check ups for the babies, etc. It is all there for the mother to take advantage of, but sadly the government cannot force the mother to join these meetings.

Thank you for being respectful when replying to my post. (^_^) What you post is TRUE. the problem is enforcement. I know this because I REFUSED to have the hokenjo people coming over every month knowing how many other children are suffering are nobody is going to their places. Once you refuse to open the door to them, they won't even try to insist. Which is WHY so many children are abused. They quit too fast and forget about that family in question. No enforcement, No change, my friend.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

How can anyone think that hitting an infant, such a tiny little defencess thing is beyond me. Child abuse is becoming an epidemic all over the world and if Japan keeps up like this, Japan is going to end up in the top three slots for countries with the worst levels of child abuse.

I read a while back that new laws had been pushed through where police officers and Welfare staff now have the power to enter a home to check on a child with or without the parent's or family's pemission. Despite numerous deaths and schools, daycares, neighbours waving the red flag, Social Services/ Welfare only entered TWO homes forcibly to remove (save) children. In over a year.

It's like the dirty handkerchief lying on the train seat. Nobody wants to touch and remove it so they go sit somewhere else and pretend said handkerchief never existed. There are children who have been severely abused and staying in children's homes. Their parents still have rights over these poor kids and have the power to block adoptions and the child's chance....hopefully....at a decent future. Children have no rights here. They are seen as mere possessions.

I see so much negligence here on a daily basis. Not only with the younger parents. You've got the parents that drive kids around in cars unrestrained to those that go out shopping leaving infants and toddlers home alone. Then we get to the starvation and torture cases. Just brutal.

People seem to lack empathy here. The ability to think about how another person might be feeling. That they might be struggling with a situation and are too proud or incapable....in a country which promotes the whole 'Ganbarre' culture and not to bother others above all else..... too proud to ask for help. What kind of future is mankind moving towards when a mobile phone is the main form of communication. When people can't even look up from their phone in a morning to issue a greeting, or that parent walking 20 paces ahead of their child texting away frenzidly. It looks like a sad cold world for some.

I am not condoning what these parents did. There is no excuse for hitting a child but the old adage 'It takes a village to raise a child' rings so true in many situations. I too think, unfortunate that it is going to get worse here. More families on welfare, job shortages, lower incomes, families burdened with aging parents and not enough support. Maybe I am just a pessimist but it doesn't look too good from where I am sitting.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Do you understand wrong from right? Do you understand pain from love? Then you are old enough to face criminal charges.

J-Gov you are all a bunch of useless #$%king cowards with no heart whatsoever. WHEN are you going to introduce laws that protect children and severely punish anyone who harms them? Because as of today there is no real training/education and no real deterrent for abusive or potentially abusive parents... Which is sickening.

Introduce and ENFORCE tougher laws and start a program to educate HS students and new parents of how and what to expect as a parent... PLEASE do something. PLEASE show you have just an ounce of compassion.... Until you do I will see you as nothing more that what i described above...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Samantha and Tokyokawasaki

Excellent posts. enough said!.

0 ( +6 / -5 )

how does an 8mo infant misbehave???! LOL

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nicky I'm not so sure this is child abuse. It sounds much more like ignorance.

Sorry netninja, I dont honestly see the difference, but hitting a child is abuse, pure and simple. Not feeding them correctly or putting on a diaper properly is ignorance.

Now JT Readers I'd have to check my facts but as far as I know.....the local ward office only sends out a, is it a mid-wife?, once a month to check on the newborn baby. They come for only a few hours.

The facilities and support available depend greatly on where you live, but generally speaking a midwife will come out to your house, usually only once, for up to an hour, and usually only with your firstborn. There is a LOT of help and support available - I was very impressed when I became a parent. But the onus is on you to go and find it and use it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Im curious - we hear of these cases all the time but we never hear any follow-up. What happens to these parents who actually wind up killing their children? Do they go to prison? Suspended sentence? Off scott free? JT if you COULD pubish something along these lines I think it would help a great deal to either calm peoples sensibilities - or conversely get them fired up to want to do something about it. Right now none of us really seem to know the outcomes of these cases (correct me if I am wrong someone).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trials usually happen several months after the arrest. Only in high-profile cases do media cover trials.

@BlueWitch. Love back at you!

@NetNinja. Sorry, I am with Nicky. Hitting a child is not ignorance. That is abuse pure and simple.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Nicky

According to my husband's younger sister (her husband is a keystone! lol) some of these cases are so "complex" and difficult for the court that after exhausting all resources for the investigation, generally, the mother gets a long suspended sentence if its first time, if it was the father..same outcome for first time. Now, Step father or mother...typically a 3~4 year sentence of actual prison time for what they consider "accidental death"...not manslaughter? as it is called in other countries, apparently.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@ Nicky

Another day, another sad sad story of child abuse. And before the Japan defenders jump up I am NOT saying it doesnt happen elsewhere - but this is Japan Today and this is the reality in what is now my home country. Im angry and upset because I care.

I'm a "Japan defender" but there's no way in hell I'm going stick up for anybody doing harm to kids. Okay, I'm not a prefect parent but hitting kids over and over again si just ridiculous. No matter what happens to the parents, it's the poor girl that I feel sorry for.

Let me get something straight. I like Japan and admire a lot of things about the culture and the people. But that does not mean I condone crime, and crimes against kids really pisses me off. Sorry for the language but that's exactly the way I feel.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With you Nicky there is little if no news about outcomes from criminal charges. Need a courts page. 1st offense or not hospitalizing an Infant or worse should not be a suspended sentence.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Cricky

With you Nicky there is little if no news about outcomes from criminal charges. Need a courts page. 1st offense or not hospitalizing an Infant or worse should not be a suspended sentence.

Cricky, I am completely against these suspended sentences. If it was up to me, I'll let these child murderers rot in prison for the rest of their pathetic lives.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Another horrible news! What the heck were they thinking??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Here we go again.... geeezzzzz.... I wonder how this couple were raised by their parents and educated in schools.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suspended sentence for parental murder? And even with a step parent only manslaughter? Well - there is the back-up for whoever said there is no incentive here not to kill your child.

JT mods - thanks for your response. What a shame the media dont consider child-killers high profile enough to follow up on them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow, so now it's daily infanticide in Japan. Nicely done!

The saddest part of all this is that since these would-be murderers are minors they'll be out in a few months and can do it again. Sound sick? it IS!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I have to agree with you Smith old boy, these stupid young people kill off their babies, but then they get off scott free! For shame!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This was a very young couple who probably needed much much more support. I believe that most young people have no idea how a baby is going to change their lives.

From what I have seen in Japan first hand, and through hearsay, I get the feeling that most first-time parents here of all ages are woefully at a loss with parenthood.

Why? The major culprit behind poor parenting here (and even the low birthrate) is, as I see it, that way too much emphasis placed on school and academics -- which all comes at the expense of other key areas of 'normal' teen-age (emerging-adulthood) development.

For instance, have you ever heard of a Japanese teenage girl who babysits to earn money (and in the process gets a small taste of parenthood)? I never have. Not once.

Back in my days as a high school teacher in Japan, I remember almost none of the students had any form of part-time job, babysitting or otherwise. The few who did had to get special approval to do so from the entire full-time faculty; and that permission was granted only begrudgingly to students who could show that their family was enduring financial hardship. Most of the faculty regarded babysitting and other part-time work as detrimental to the student. The school monopolized their lives. Little else was important. It was to be the end-all and be-all of the students, and little outside of school had any value.

Anyway, I could try to persuade the faculty until I was blue in the face about how valuable my babysitting experience as a teenager was toward enabling me to adjust to parenthood -- they would just look at me like I was from another planet.

1 ( +4 / -2 )

@Piltdown Man. Totally agree. Too much emphasis on academics and theory of 'everything'! Not enough practical experience. I totally agree that first time parents are mostly at a loss. I remember the first time I saw my twins. The nurse, who who was incredibly supportive by the way, pointed at them and said 'Okay! Hai, dozo!' I just didn't know where to start. Think whether you have one baby or twins, you look at that tiny body, screaming, little fists balled up and realize that you have been given a beautiful, priceless being and you don't have a bloody clue (yet) how to deal with it! Despite who you are or how strong you are, we all need a support system somewhere. There will come a day when it gets too much. Some people cross the line and then there are parents out there who just shouldn't have become parents.

Wish I could adopt all of them. We don't have much but we do have lots of love and time to give.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And....sorry! I haven't buzzed off yet but....The amount of Japanese who reckon they are experts on something just because they read a book about it! My hubby does the same thing. I am sorry but reading about an experience or a country doesn't necessarily ready you for the actual real life experience. I do appreciate that being well read is to be admired but sometimes here, I've hard sweeping statements on whole countries or nations, read about in a book and usually written by a Japanese author!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Two things that are sorely lacking in this country when it comes to such horrible cases of child abuse. One, poor (or no?) education for young people about parenting & child care. And two, the authorities being reluctant to interfere with families to watch out for and/ or help children who are abused or at high risk of being abused. Add on top of that the still rather popular belief that physically hitting a child or other forms of abuse are forms of 'discipline'. this is a recipe for pain and suffering of many children. When will more people speak up so things can change. Enough is enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wish I could adopt all of them. We don't have much but we do have lots of love and time to give.

Same here, Sam....Same here!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am just wondering......the baby was brought to the hospital with a failing heart and the doctors were able to restart the heart,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the doctors noticed bruising on the face and body............the parents admitted to sometimes hitting the baby (assh**es, criminals, go to jail)....but how does hitting the baby cause the heart tio fail? Could they be seperate issues?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

100% agree with the babysitting thing! One of the reasons why I don't have my own yet was because I looked after a family of three kids (was two at first), all two years apart for years. Nothing like being 17 and looking after a week old baby, a two year old and a four year old for a few hours to make you reaslie just how stressful it can be. Females here don't get it. They think they are toys that they can dress up and taker everywhere. Guys just see the good points and never think of the reality of it.

With the PT job, they would also learn some responsibility AND perhaps, save money for uni - which may make them actually study while attending!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Nicky Washida: Perhaps it was an error in translation --misbehave should not be the term used here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least this does not happen a lot in Japan as it does in other parts of the world, so even bad news can be taken lightly.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I am just wondering......the baby was brought to the hospital with a failing heart and the doctors were able to restart the heart,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the doctors noticed bruising on the face and body............the parents admitted to sometimes hitting the baby (assh**es, criminals, go to jail)....but how does hitting the baby cause the heart tio fail? Could they be seperate issues?

@techall - it is impossible to say really without seeing the medical notes, but it IS possible to link abuse to heart failure in several ways, for example a blow to the head, particularly the back of the head and lower down can interfere with cardiac rhythm. Severe internal bleeding caused by repeated blows causing internal trauma can result in a dangerous drop in blood pressure and without stabilising fluids this can lead to heart failure. Lung trauma, perhaps by broken ribs puncturing a lung with cause oxygen levels to drop with obvious consequences for active tissue such as cardiac muscle.

These are just a few of many possible scenarios but it gives you an idea of how cardiac failure can be the end result of severe trauma. Hope it helps put things into perspective a little.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Should add as well - it IS also entirely possible to link heart failure to one of several non-abusive causes as well so you are absolutely right. However, in an otherwise healthy baby presenting with trauma, for most doctors the first suspicion would generally be abuse.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

At least this does not happen a lot in Japan as it does in other parts of the world, so even bad news can be taken lightly.

This is a joke, right? You new to Japan? There happens a lot in Japan. Which is why so many of us want the child care laws changed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Juan Rodriguez

At least this does not happen a lot in Japan as it does in other parts of the world, so even bad news can be taken lightly.

I hope this is a joke.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan doesnt even know how many child abuse deaths it has. Few autopsies are performed and doctors are often not trained/skilled well enough to spot the signs although this is improving.

So dont believe all the stats you read.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well said Nicky! I don't trust the 'stats" as the government is well known to change them to make themselves look good! DV is also "pretty low" but anyone who lives here knows that isn't the case.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JustanotherPerson. Japan isn't far down on the list. And at the rate Japan is going, it could be right up there with those other countries you mentioned. But you know, it's not about who is worse it's about the fact that this happens. It's like saying 'Well rape is everywhere but the numbers appear lower here, so we shouldn't worry so much about it!' in a subconscious way, you are condoning it.

We have the 'family murder suicides' . Lots of newspaper articles online where academics and welfare officials write about how the problem is being 'swept under the carpet'. Homes that are full of children removed from their families due to abuse. Resources over the past few years have become very strained. They are crying out for more foster parents to take these poor kids in.

One child dying from abuse is one child too many.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Nice acronym...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

JustAnotherPerson. Conspiracy theories. Now now who is getting all dramatic. No cloak and dagger here, just in your face numbers. As for Japan bashing, some of us on this forum might work in areas dealing with child abuse victims and feel passionate enough to want to try to change the current situation to help victims. The only way to start dealing with a problem is to admit that their is a problem and the scale of the problem. Sitting around throwing out numbers and spouting out the names of countries that have or don't have higher rates of child abuse isn't going to help that lite girl or boy being abused right now, this minute.

And 'nationality'. You brought it up. It sickens me to the stomach reading about child abuse anywhere in the world. I am actually involved as a witness in a child abuse case at the moment. I am doing all I can to try to help a young boy ... Who just happens to be a Japanese national. How does that make me a Japan basher?

Save that lofty title for the real 'people' out there who are Japanese and literally bashing their children.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I have been telling neighbors about babysitting for almost 2 decades now. I have been blessed with friends both Japanese and foriegn that have experianced babysitting first hand as teens themselves. When my teens were little I could get a friends daughter or son for an hour or two while I ran to the store or other short errand. When my now teens started JHS I got complaints from them when I made them do chores, make meals and babysit younger siblings or friends children ... They would say 'why do I have too? Other kids dont have too' - refering to jr high age Japanese friends. Others that they refered to are now graduating from high school soon and stiil no clue how to care for a child.

I have a 14 year old son in jr high now, he was assigned his work experiance day - it was to a day care (hoikuen) ... 5 kids in all went to work there. My son was the only one with a clue what to do. He also has 11 & 4 year old younger siblings... He whines and complains all the time to me when I make him babysit or help care for them when my hands are full, but he was given high praises at school from the day care center (the school took the compliments personally and not because of home life), which gave him a certificate (shoujou) of excelance recognized by our city. His older (16 & 17 year old) sisters also did the same whine and complaints, but now attend high school in America - for some spending cash they BABYSIT!

Seeing my other friends and women in their 30's give birth to their children .... Go home to mommy for 40 - 60 days to learn... Scares me. My mother in law was suprised at how much I knew.... But I grew up tending for mom (Im the eldest of 6) and her friends. I was also a nanny for a couple of years with 2 years of nursing school. I knew what I was in for before I got pregnant with my first. My family support is either in America or in Sendai ... So I searched for help around me. If Japan did a proper parenting class in jr high ... Not just sex ed. .... But got those life like dolls that my nieces and nephews (in America) have to use.... I think I would see a huge change in these generations of 'dont have a clue' aged kids/adults. I received my first visit from the city nurse when my 4th baby was 2 years old. I had no idea that there were such programs until that moment! Good thing I didnt depend on such things...

Any death of a small child or baby is a tragedy if it can be prevented. For a country so hell bent on education, Someone might think that this would fit into the frame of mind? Because these tragedies can be prevented - with knowledge, studies and education to all. Mean while this has been my home for approximately 20 years and will be for longer, for I still have a 4 year old I want to see graduate Japanese Jr High, before sending her to America to learn some of that part of her heratage like her older 4 siblings are doing in turn.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

interesting....

I've hard sweeping statements on whole countries or nations, read about in a book and usually written by a Japanese author!

and then....

People seem to lack empathy here. The ability to think about how another person might be feeling. That they might be struggling with a situation and are too proud or incapable....in a country which promotes the whole 'Ganbarre' culture and not to bother others above all else.....

If you want to get involved in helping to change the system to help protect children from abuse then that's a noble thing, but why does it always seem to inextricably linked to sweeping statements about the incapability of Japanese mothers, the lack of human empathy, and other comments about Japan?

Simply claiming that Japan has the highest number of abuse cases in the world based on what you read in the tabloid news is disingenuous. Even if we had a story similar to this one every day of the week for a year, that would still represent extremely low rates of abuse relative to the population. I understand that this is an emotional topic and people have emotional reactions but I don' think that gives you a license to change the facts.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Simply claiming that Japan has the highest number of abuse cases in the world based on what you read in the tabloid news is disingenuous. Even if we had a story similar to this one every day of the week for a year, that would still represent extremely low rates of abuse relative to the population. I understand that this is an emotional topic and people have emotional reactions but I don' think that gives you a license to change the facts.

Good post.

You're going to have to get use to this here in JT.

News like the above barely gets "reported" by the media in their home countries and certainly not in the national level like Japan. Hence, there is a perception that there is a "growing" trend or a "worse" situation here in Japan as opposed to their home countries. This explains most of their comments. Think about it. There are estimated 2,500 deaths per year from Child abuse in U.S. Do you think the national media is going to report 7 incidents a day?

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Readers, comparisons to other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

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nigelboyDec. 01, 2011 - 07:27AM JST. Hence, there is a perception that there is a "growing" trend or a "worse" situation here in Japan as opposed to their home countries. This explains most of their comments. Think about it. There are estimated 2,500 deaths per year from Child abuse in U.S. Do you think the national media is going to report 7 incidents a day?

Because U.S. families generally do not hide the problems from the authorities. I don't believe it's the "perception" problem is Japan. Japan probably has far more abuse case that is not reported there. Generally, Japanese families do not report the problem to the authorities because they have sense of shame and hide their problems. Japan has over 32,000 suicides this year, and if you compare with 2-1/2 times more in population (300 million) in the U.S., the suicide level is close or identical to Japan. Japan has substantial family problem that are not being helped by medication or counselors correct the problems. The J-goverment looks at it other way. These people with problems has to live with their children and they really don't know how to manage their own family. They really abuse their own kids, verbally and physically. There are too many people in Japan who are just ticks away from exploding.

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THIS IS WORST I'm writing from Japan and those kind of staffs happen all year long so TV news started to not putting that kind of stories that many. Cus I didn't know about this. A 19years old parent is not very young in those days in Japan. We can’t take into consideration the young parents. They had to have a responsibility for their baby when they decide to be a parent. I wish this kind of stories never happen every time I hear about it.

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There is no way that 8 month old child can misbehave. I don’t think she is old enough to do that. Her mother is the only one and closer person for this baby and should be taking care of her but instead of that she hits her that is very sad. Recently we have more this kind of news and that is making me terribly sad. I think this couple was way too young to raise kid. I wonder if there was some adult telling them they are too young to be parents. Because if there was then thing like this didn’t happen. I know have people around me will tell me such a thing.

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JustAnotherPerson. Thank you for finding my post 'interesting'! First of all, when did I state that Japan has the highest number of abuse cases in the world? If you care to take a step back through my posts, I commented that Japan could, at the rate it's going, end up in the top ranks.I am more than familiar with which countries have the worst abuse rates. Are you aware that Japan only started to record abuse cases 10 years ago.? And that in those ten years, the numbers have increased quite substantially? This is probably due to more awareness of child abuse. Also, it must be taken into account that 'abuse' is perceived differently from culture to culture and when we talk about 'child abuse', the term hosts a whole myriad of categories, sexual abuse, neglect, etc. We get to read more about the poor children who succumbed to their abuse rather than kids who have been removed and put into care.

And yes, I have heard the most ridiculous things gleaned from a book that someone has read. I even had the pleasure one day at youchien of listening to a talk on how bad foreign mothers fared compared to Japanese mothers by a self professed specialist who upon questioning had never stepped outside of Japan in her life!

As for empathy, yeah.....I've had a few fuzzy wuzzy amazing experiences ( and the folk who have been kind to me, I show my appreciation and keep them close to me) but on the whole, quite cold. Quite a few of my Japanese mum friends......yes, I do have some......talk to me about their problems because they told me they just can't do that with their Japanese counterparts.

Nigelboy. Don't know where you originate from but my home country reports a lot on child abuse. Infact, my country was deeply shocked by one particular high profile case a few years ago which caused a lot of soul searching. We still have way too many 'bad' parents and some of the sentences handed down are a joke but it has been admitted there is a problem.

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A 19 year should be able to understand not to hit a baby. I feel the age of adulthood should be lowered. 19 is an adult. I mean by 16 you are old enough to understand what is and isnt appropriate. And they will just get a slap on the wrist for this. Its terribly sad.

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I would agree that foreign mothers fare worse than Japanese mothers.

We have the advantages of higher education on average, a good standard of living, more extended families for support and so on.

I think those are some of the reasons child abuse rates are as low as they are in Japan.

Of course some high profile cases, such as the one in Osaka, have caused a lot of soul-searching among we Japanese, and calls for more protection for children and changes to the law.

I understand that as some foreigners often cannot read or understand Japanese or have few connections with Japanese people that they tend to be "out of the loop" on such social trends and therefore tend to believe other fantastical extreme notions.

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Nigelboy. Don't know where you originate from but my home country reports a lot on child abuse. Infact, my country was deeply shocked by one particular high profile case a few years ago which caused a lot of soul searching. We still have way too many 'bad' parents and some of the sentences handed down are a joke but it has been admitted there is a problem.

Not to play down this particular incident but are you going to tell me that such similar incident is going to be reported by the national media in your country? Please. Don't insult my intelligence. I've never stated that child abuse isn't reported by the media. But when a certain country has so many of them, only high profile cases ever gets the coverage by the media.

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Readers, other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

@ Samantha ... You seem to be on the same page I am, living the same simular kind of life, living and being 'Japanese' amongst our neighbors and children. I enjoy reading and understanding your views and opinions. Bravo!

I dont want to change what is around me, but add my knowledge/ideas to the life around me to make things better.

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@ Debbie. Much appreciated. I actually do not mind at all when folk's opinions differ from my own. Some That is what free speech is supposed to be about, isn't it!

Take care!

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