Yua Funato is seen in this image taken from the Facebook page of her mother Yuri Funato. Photo: Facebook
crime

Gov't to step up efforts to tackle child abuse after death of 5-year-old girl

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how could you look at that face and abuse her? no humanity

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Once again, .....for once in my rather long life here, I would truly appreciate seeing something be done about a long standing, and well known problem, BEFORE an incident like this occurs!

DV/Abuse has been a problem here for a hell of a long time, and the government, police, and just about everyone else in a position to do something about it, have sat on their hands.

Prevention is not a word in the Japanese language that gets any practical use!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

They include all the information about this case but for some strange reason they didn't include that government officials were denied access to the home to check on the child. Again government needing to make new rules to their change their rules. Plain and simple, mandatory access to a child that has been report abused!!! It's a quick and easy start. No need to sit in the Diet for weeks/months and waste tax payer's money discussing this issue! Just give government officials full access to children being abused. Starts from now! So simple!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This article was a complete waste of time. It says nothing at all about what the government or police will do to stop the problem, and just rehashes the story of this unfortunate soul.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

In true Japanese style the problem will go untreated and unnoticed until the tally increases and this time next year they say the same thing.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

A horrific punishment meted out to child abusers would be justice, but unfortunately we don’t roll like that anymore in 2018.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I'm looking at this gorgeous little angel and I can't imagine somebody raising their hand against her let alone torturing her to death I can't even stand to look at the picture for more than a few seconds

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Such things are unacceptable.

Why return an abused child to their abusive parents?

Police should follow social workers in those cases and force the parents to show their child.

This is going to happen again and not much is going to be done, like in the past.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

We will take thorough countermeasures against child abuse,

Ok Mr. Suga, what kind of measures are you talking about? More staff and funding for child welfare agencies? Changes to the law to allow child welfare agencies to enable them to forcibly remove children from abusive environments? I sincerely doubt there will be any changes made. This is just another 'paper statement' from a Japanese ministry official.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I thought this story couldn't get more heartbreaking, but the new information on the abuse are just as horrific. I can't imagine how much the poor girl must have suffered...

As for the "A tragedy like this should never happen again.", it happened dozens of time before. Freaking do something already !

Give child services the right to call the police, don't give back a child to abusive parents, or if so impose regular verification at home. Anything ! It's not rocket science !

9 ( +9 / -0 )

For a country that has an aging population that is sorely dependent on the young, Japan is severely negligent in taking care of its future. Abuse, neglect, bullying, suicide, dysfunctional and obsolete educational system that sends adolescents into the work force if they can't get into a high school, social safety nets that are incompetent, and most of all, a government that is completely out of touch with society's needs as demonstrated by what the LDP will now propose to do. The list goes on ad nauseam bigly.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted is the traditional Japanese approach, a knee-jerk, safety blanket cliche that everyone who wants to avoid taking the rap resorts to, as you can hear every day in the Land of Wa: 二度と起こらないように.... (translation: blah-blah- blah)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Lip service - position justification - voter confidence - public pandering - Choose any one of the above statements to summarize Suga’s hollow promises.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Her parents had not taken Yua to a hospital even though she was ill. Her 25-year-old mother Yuri Funato allegedly told investigators, "I thought it would put me in a bad position."

So you let her waste away instead, you piece of filth?

While in Kagawa, the stepfather had been referred to prosecutors twice on suspicion of abusing the child on several occasions, but both cases against him were dropped.

Information on the alleged child abuse was passed on to a Tokyo child welfare center from Kagawa, and an official visited the family's home on Feb. 9 but was denied an opportunity to see the child by her mother. This information was not shared with the police.

So this obviously a problem with the system. If Suga was truly serious about fixing this he would address these 2 issues, at least.

Ok Mr. Suga, what kind of measures are you talking about? More staff and funding for child welfare agencies? Changes to the law to allow child welfare agencies to enable them to forcibly remove children from abusive environments? I sincerely doubt there will be any changes made. This is just another 'paper statement' from a Japanese ministry official.

EXACTLY what I was thinking. More lip BS from a silver spoon beaurcrat. If he is serious, he should outline EXACTLY WHAT the gov is going to do.

BintaroToday 08:07 am JST

I thought this story couldn't get more heartbreaking, but the new information on the abuse are just as horrific. I can't imagine how much the poor girl must have suffered...

Same here.

As for the "A tragedy like this should never happen again.", it happened dozens of time before. Freaking do something already !

freakin tell me about it!!

Give child services the right to call the police, don't give back a child to abusive parents, or if so impose regular verification at home. Anything ! It's not rocket science !

You would think, but this is the LDP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't read the details of the abuse anymore. While we can complain about the lack of help, I have nothing but respect for the childsupport workers out there who DO manage to help and who get to see this kind of abuse on a daily basis and then still continue to do that job. Especially when they want to help these kids but CANT because of some rules or the law. Must be so extremely hard.

The only things the government can and SHOULD do is

Give childsupport workers MORE power to take action. Not just knock knock, "you cant come in", "ok we will come back another day".

Improve communication between law enforcement and child care services.

shouldn't be to hard

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A tragedy like this should never happen again. We will take thorough countermeasures against child abuse

Preach it!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am familiar with this story. But I didn't read today's article.

I just saw the picture of this little girl for the first time...and was reminded how she pleaded and begged for her parents to stop and just love her.

I feel the guilt as a father. I wish I could have known and been there for her.

I think many here feel the same.

Gotta find something positive to read today.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

May the parents burn in hell. This isn't a government issue, it was the father. Are Japanese men so primordial that they need to kill offspring that are not of their own bloodline like bears and lions do?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

child welfare officials need to be able to involve the police if they are not allowed into a home during a welfare visit, especially when abuse has been noted before. it's as simple as that. let's get it done, japan.

and let's charge these monsters with murder and lock them up for a very long time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Article: “an official visited the family's home on Feb. 9 but was denied an opportunity to see the child by her mother. This information was not shared with the police.”

Disillussioned: “Changes to the law to allow child welfare agencies to enable them to forcibly remove children from abusive environments?”

Bintaro: “Give child services the right to call the police”

If someone who has the time to research this this knows differently, please correct me but it’s my understanding the laws were changed some years ago giving the child protection services the right/duty to get the police involved and forcibly remove the child if necessary. But it involves a judgement call by those workers as to whether the case is of a sufficient crisis nature to call the police. Too often hindsight shows, as in this case, that it was.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article was a complete waste of time. It says nothing at all about what the government or police will do to stop the problem, and just rehashes the story of this unfortunate soul.

This comment is in no way meant as any disrespect to this poor child. But there are thousands of children, disabled and aged people going through serious abuse every day. And, like Yua's story, the police are very much aware of it.

But this story took the headlines just as the LDP's scandals were getting a lot of airtime and people, for once, started protesting in the streets about the corrupt government that is in power. Now the LDP is painting itself as a savior by pushing this issue when they should have already had better mechanisms in place to combat this type of abuse.

The outcome of this will not help at-risk children, but it will distract people for long enough to forget about the LDP's corruption until momentum against it is lost.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Educator60

http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=2221&vm=04&re=02

This is the best I found, dating 2011. No idea if something more recent exist.

When a director of child guidance center intends to confirm safety of the child or take temporary custody of the childpursuant to the provision of paragraph (2) of Article 8, and finds it necessary in performing those duties, he/she may ask the chief of police station having jurisdiction over the location of the domicile or residence of the relevant child for assistance. The same shall apply where a prefectural governor intends to cause the entry and investigations or questioning to be conducted or cause the inspection, etc. to be conducted pursuant to the provision of paragraph (1) of Article 9.

Seems you're right. Unfortunately, that means this is not enforced, or child services have poor judgment...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So sad and unacceptable crime against an innocent child.. Parents must pay with law.. At least this beautiful little girl is now with Lord Jesus at God's eternal kingdom of Heaven forever, safe, in peace and happy..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

more sex education is required in schools. more access and availability of contraception in schools would be helpful too. a lot of the children who are being abused are being "raised" by people who can't even take care of themselves, let alone a child. have to drill home the idea that the only good pregnancy is a planned pregnancy. i'm tired of seeing some girl in her early twenties hauling 3 or 4 kids around the supermarket, looking haggard as all hell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is one of the worst stories I've heard in 2018, not just in Japan, but globally. So black pill.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An editorial on child abuse from the Japan Times :

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/06/08/editorials/lacking-fight-child-abuse/

A 2016 revision to the child abuse prevention law simplified the procedure for officials of such centers to carry out on-site inspection of homes where child abuse is suspected without the parents’ consent. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry says that protection of children should be prioritized and that officials should not hesitate in the face of parents’ objections to take abused children under protective custody. However, it is believed that many welfare officials balk at resorting to such action out of concern that support for the family may not proceed smoothly if the action is taken over the parents’ opposition.

The child services seems to be lacking a spine, or are not putting the safety of the child above all else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every tried to report something to the police with no concrete evidence, just suspicion? You will be questioned for two hours and then nothing. There needs to be a special investigative organization tasked with these sensitive issues. Teachers, daycare workers and hospital staff should have direct access.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah Mr. Suga, more blah blah blah. Just look at this beautiful charming INNOCENT child and then read how the entire 'system' FAILED her. It's the DUTY of a society and a government to protect its citizens and that includes the defenseless like the children, from danger and abuse. The signs were there are nobody acted on it until it was too late. Now this girl is dead, but at least she is with God and she will suffer no more. As for 'taking preventative steps', I say - SHOW, DON'T TELL.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GOJ...all talk - no acion. The usual trend on reacting rather than anticipating.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The laws protecting children are already adequate, and are sufficiently severe. The problem is that they are not enforced. The police did their job, arresting the stepfather twice, yet prosecuters didn’t pursue either case, had they done so, this little girl would be alive today. The child welfare officer responded to see the child, as the law requires, but she failed in her duty, allowing herself to be turned away, and not notifying the police, despite being aware of the record of abuse. More than likely, she had plans to meet a friend for lunch, and didn’t want to wait for the police. Had she done her job, this little girl would be alive today.

We need to hold public servants to the highest standards, and not tolerate such incompetence. There is no point passing new laws if existing laws are are not properly enforced. The public should be allowed to sue bad public servants for negligence when they cause harm, their jobs should not be protected when they are not doing them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That's beyond sadness. Just to see this picture of a child angel face and what she wrote in the notebook I can't stop crying...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hogwash! This is just more lip-service. They could have started doing more AGES ago, since this happens pretty much daily (didn't a mom just try to kill her 2-year-old yesterday?) in Japan, but that hasn't stopped them from doing nothing up to now. HERE is what we KNOW they do:

"While in Kagawa, the stepfather had been referred to prosecutors twice on suspicion of abusing the child on several occasions, but both cases against him were dropped."

And then, sure enough, when there's a body, they start acting... well... start saying, "How could we have known?" and then vowing to do something before next time... errr... the next after that.

If the government is serious, let's have them start by stepping in and demanding these people get life with no chance of parole; minimum 25 years. No? Didn't think so. Get ready for the next case of infanticide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We need to hold public servants to the highest standards, and not tolerate such incompetence. 

How? When the PM himself can get away with cronyism and lord knows what else, how can the public expect those that are supposed to be working for them get away with so much guano?

Not to mention that the people who you are calling "public servants" (not all but far too many) have arrogant attitudes and expect the public to bow to their will and their supposed "higher intelligence" because they managed to pass the koumuin exam!

Their are no laws here regarding incompetence!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

an official visited the family's home on Feb. 9 but was denied an opportunity to see the child by her mother

This has happened before, with the same tragic result. If a parent refuses to allow access to the child the police should be called immediately and the child should be forcibly removed, no excuses, no coming back later. Comply voluntarily or be forced to comply: those should be the only two options available. If such a policy were introduced there would be fewer child deaths.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My daughter is 5 now, I could never do that to her. Yes there are things she does that annoy me and her mother and brother as well. But to be that abusive, is skipping so many steps in the middle. I don't see how you could do that, esp day in and and day out.

BTW as a parent, I do look out for others, see if kids are too skinny, or too shy(like abnormally shy). The govt can't be everywhere, it's society's job to make sure we are all safe. Be alert

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga statement means nothing only to discuss, the govt. have to pay more for the child welfare centers public servers to protect next generations that declines in numbers every year. Isn't it a countermeasure to the falling birthrate in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's all through the social systems here. I've seen children get bullied at schools and the teachers just look the other way. See no evil, hear no evil. I've seen young 'normal' kids that are already so affected, they can barely put a sentence together as they quiver there way through telling you what color they like.

This is a common sight in Japan at all levels in society. If you ask their teachers/parents/guardians what is wrong, they will just brush it aside as a non-issue and look puzzled as to why you would ask. Generally speaking (not directly related to Yua in this story) abuse is just looked at a different way in Japan. Or not looked at, at all. It's sooner brushed under the carpet.

Mind-boggling.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If this little girl was still alive, I would of been more than happy to adopt her, Ive not got a great deal money, but I would have looked after her 100%. there are some sick people about. I am sure that in japan there is a couple that are desperate to have a child, but for various reasons they can have children, would give there right arm to adopt a child.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Brian, I am sure you are right, and there are many more like her out there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have read many stories of child abuse in my time, but it is the pitiful notes from the girl that are so gut wrenching - pleading to parents who clearly do not give a stuff about her. I hope that the parents suffer as she did.

In terms of building joined-up social work, Japan has a very long way to go. It is not the first country to have experienced issues like this, but can it study to see what went wrong here and what it could do in future to see that another case would not happen?

In this case, there were not just mild suspicions of child abuse, but very strong ones. This is a massive failing.

I think that Japan's reticence about correcting clear errors results from an unwillingness to lay blame at any individual or to lose face. As a result, change happens very slowly so that no one is responsible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Last night I heard a kid screaming and a man shouting from the next manshon. Freaked me out.

I know kids yell and can be little monsters and I know parents get angry and feel they have to yell sometimes, but i almost tried to find the door and talk to the guy - much to the embarrassment of my wife.

I think Ive got some kind of PTSD from all these cases.

What’s crazy is how police were called about this guy and nothing was done, whereas it seems pretty easy for a foreign husband and father to get slapped with a restraining order here.

RE comments about adoption, very few Japanese adopt children. And re the step-father comments, in my experience both men AND women here aren’t that good in accepting children who aren’t there own. NOT ALL. But i’ve Heard many women say they don’t know if they could love or accept the child of a partner.

But this case is beyond that. I’d like to talk with the two parents. Hard to understand human beings sometimes. I assume they are both mentally ill. But if they are just evil, then why do some people get like that?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Her mom and stepfather should be executed on the day, 1 hour trial, no waste of money.

Tell them in advance and throw them in a dark room where they can wait in agony for their worst "personal" nightmare.

Send a strong message to those other half assed, lazy, too proud and dumb to ask for help parents in our country.

You kill your child, we kill you.

Its harsh, but NOTHING else has worked.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This has been going on formany years in japan. And how long has the LDP been in power withnothing done about it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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