The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare says that reported cases of child abuse rose again last year for the 22nd consecutive year.
According to a report released by the ministry, the number of reported child abuse cases requiring intervention by child consultation centers was 66,807, an increase of 11.5% over fiscal 2011, TBS reported Friday. The ministry added that this was the highest number since records began in 1990.
The ministry said it believes the increase is due to continued efforts to raise awareness of child welfare issues and to encourage members of the public to report suspected abuses.
The ministry added that its new system to allow for suspension of parental authority, introduced in April 2012, has so far resulted in 15 suspensions out of 27 cases brought before family courts, TBS reported.
By prefecture, Osaka had the highest number with 9,875, followed by Kanagawa at 8,324 and Saitama at 4,853, the ministry report said.© Japan Today