Yua Funato is seen in this image taken from the Facebook page of her mother Yuri Funato. Photo: FACEBOOK
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Japan to ban physical punishment of children by parents

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The the story of this little angel breaks my heart I hope the people who tortured and murdered her get the Justice they deserve

13 ( +13 / -0 )

are they going to ban sadism? and inefficiency in the system? and teachers being scared of irate parents? yet another case of 'making it look good on paper'.... the system's broken....

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Violence is the last resort of the uncreative person who has run out of ideas. So a person who hits a child is basically admitting they're too stupid to outsmart a five-year-old.

8 ( +24 / -16 )

Some physical punishment is acceptable like spanking or a belt. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

6 ( +32 / -26 )

As the guideline may contradict the right to discipline guaranteed under the civil law to those with parental authority, the government will discuss whether the civil law will need to be revised.

Would there be a contradiction? The Civil Code provisions do restrict the "right" to discipline (懲戒権) to the extent that it benefits the child in educating them etc as necessary (ss820, 822).

The above discussed abuse would not fall into that category, obviously...

Or maybe it isn't so obvious (?)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

how are they gonna enforce it? install a camera in every household?

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I'd also like to know how they are going to enforce it. And does it mean that if a parent smacks his/her child, they are breaking the law?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

There's abuse and there's parenting. I don't think the government should have any right on how parents decide to discipline/parent their children.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

No more deko pins?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

how are they gonna enforce it? install a camera in every household?

How do they enforce any law?

You seem to be confusing enforcing law with gathering evidence.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

My wife's father was of the spare the rod, spoil the child generation, but I suffered zero corporal punishment growing up. I had to rein in some of her emotional outbursts against our two children when they were tots, and she learned to control herself to some degree. The apple never falls far from the tree - those who were victimized as a child are more likely to victimize as an adult.

My system for addressing juvenile mistakes was this:

-Sit seza-style with the child in the genkan;

ー Have the child explain the nature of his/her mistake, both the contents and the reason why their action was bad;

ー Have the child explain countermeasures he/she would take to avoid such mistakes in future;

ー Hug.

It worked well and broke the chain of violence. I have no grandchildren yet, but I'm assured that they will be well taken care of.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

I've never had to resort to corporal punishment with my kids.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

idiocy, spanking and belt is absolutely required , I wish they brought back ruler in school too

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

idiocy, spanking and belt is absolutely required , I wish they brought back ruler in school too

Only poor parents think that. They are not at all required.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

seriously, the Japanese children are the most spoiled from all the countries on this planet. Removing any form of phisycal punishment will just make them even more prone to that, on a moment the parents will just start to ignore the children even more.

Give them the phone or console to play all day and keep quiet...

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Sometimes you don't have time to get a toddler's attention by talking. It is a safety thing. A quick swat across the bottom gets the attention you need immediately, but if it is used with any regularity, then you've failed.

After age 5, things are different. Talk, explanations, reasoning can work if the child is calm. And be prepared for "I don't know" with those huge eyes. Can't help but love at kid like that.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

State interference may help some children but will degrade family values on general

and further decrease birth rate.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Sorry, not all kids are the same. Most kids you can discipline them with words and non-corporal punishment. But for a few kids, it just doesn't work and they do things that deserve a smack or spanking with a hand or a belt.

Making it illegal to physically discipline your child even if the situation calls for it isn't the answer. Punishing parents who abuse this power should be the goal. That's why they call it child abuse. It's different from proper physical punishment.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

@oldman_13 - Some physical punishment is acceptable like spanking or a belt. 

Actually, this is completely incorrect. Any form of physical punishment is assault. If one was to hit someone on the street with a belt they would be arrested. I don’t understand what makes parents think they have the right to assault their children.

I think this is a step in the right direction, but it also lacks a lot of clarification. They really need to clearly stipulate what is child abuse. They are only focusing on physical punishment. That means that things like locking kids on balconies and putting them in a cold shower would not be considered illegal. Or, how about the thousands of irresponsible parents who have their toddlers and elementary aged kids running around in smoky izakayas until midnight on a school night? I remember seeing one woman give her 2-3 year son a bottle of coke at 11pm on the train one night. This is also child abuse. To me, any form of irresponsible parenting is a form of child abuse. Even things like, letting toddlers run freely in car parks and on streets. Instead of wasting so much time and money on banning physical punishment, they should be addressing why so many parents are irresponsible and abusive. There was a young girl that fell out of a second floor window a fortnight ago. She was in a house full of adults and kids, but not one parent had enough common sense to think about the danger of a group of kids jumping on a bed in front of an open window.

Banning physical punishment is not going to stop it happening. It’s only going to address child abuse after the fact.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

Corporal punishment of children by teachers is also banned and yet it happens often because the law enforcement is weak and penalties too small.

Also, they want to give more power to child welfare centers so they can separate the kids from the abusive parents, but how are they addressing the problem with lack of communication between the kids and the teachers?

Like i said the last time, they could mandate that all schools require at least one time a month, or once every 5 months the kids to visit a school counselor. The fact that everyone will have to do it will make it ''official'' and hopefully get rid of the stigma associated with it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The sad thing is that kids die because people don't do enough to take them away from abusive parents. Banning children from being physically disciplined is just going to turn them into little murderers. It's already happening in the United States since false data has been propagated on child punishment as fact. There are parents that have never hit their children and given them everything and they still turned out bad. I think they just need to do more with holding the parents accountable once they find abuse. If you find the kid has damage then lock them up. Especially if there are witnesses and evidence. Have the kids carry a wire if you have to. Use technology rather than taking away any methods that may be needed to control an unruly child.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Banning physical punishment is not going to stop it happening. It’s only going to address child abuse after the fact.

Same as all law.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

One of my greatest childhood memories was the day the wooden spoon smashed in half when I was hit on my bottom. My brother used to run away a lot, his punishment was being tied to the fence for hours. 10 seconds of pain was better than hours of being tied up.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I hope this also applies to abusive teachers and coaches and employers!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I can think of very few things the Abe government has done right in the last six years, usually he makes things worse like the economy for example. But in this instance this is the right thing to do. In many cases child abuse is noted by teachers or others and nothing has been done to protect kids who sadly in some cases are killed.

So many parents of kids are wholly unfit to be parents. That is part of the problem.

This should extend to all authority figures such as teachers and coaches. Corporeal punishment still goes on within sports teams, I have seen it directly myself all too often.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@Strangerland

“Banning physical punishment is not going to stop it happening. It’s only going to address child abuse after the fact.”

Same as all law.

Actually, that is also incorrect. Most laws and punishments are set up as a deterrent to commit crimes. This law will not be a deterrent to commit the crimes. It will only introduce punishments.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

but forcing children to stand outside in any weather gets a pass

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Actually, that is also incorrect. Most laws and punishments are set up as a deterrent to commit crimes.

Then so is this.

This law will not be a deterrent to commit the crimes.

Then neither can any other.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Having a zero tolerance moves towards the right direction, is every kid that gets a tap or two on the bottom once a blue moon going to result in a court case.. of course not.. but if even one child is saved from ongoing or fatal abuse by disgusting unfit parents its worth it. The trouble with not having a zero tolerance is what is reasonable physical punishment?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I warn you, the State will not cease until it has dissolved the family, destroyed it completely. This is a direct assault upon the autonomy of the home and family, to take away the sanctity of the house and all authority and judgement the parent has for their own children, their own family. Necessary punishment and tough love are needed, physical punishment is necessary and works. This is more a move of undermining the family, undermining the authority of the father and household. Children without necessary physical punishment no longer respect their parents, or anyone else for that matter. There is nothing good in this bill, in this change. I am ashamed that Abe is allowing this to happen.

The propaganda, and the reasons listed are even worse. One abusive and insane person murders a child, so now we must take the ability to spank kids away from millions of family and other authority figures? This is insane. One must assume that the subversives seeking to destroy Japan from the inside aren't running the government.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Nowadays you will get into trouble smacking your dog with a belt or ruler and yet some people still believe it is OK to do it to your children.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Michael James.. if you live in a society it is bigger than the house hold. There have to be rules, immunizations are a great example. Who is trying to break up families.. sounds like a straw man to me.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Logical and pysychological evidence that adapted physical punishment is required is that if it was wrong, how that as a grown man myself, I honestly found it very OK.

Am I mentally ill ?

Aren't those who think they can decide for others the matter ?

If it was a kind of abuse to get spanked or equivalent, wouldn't the very large majority of those who have undergone a form of physical punishment be willing to stop this education continuity ?

And since it is not the case, you are just limiting freedom.

I have done the necessary with my kids a few times and more on my son than that for his sisters (how curious if you know kids !).

Respect the children and judge the parents by asking them (the children) what they think afterwards first to get facts !

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

If you’re hitting your kid, it’s poor parenting.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

I think a little corporal punishment dished out occasionally if perfectly fine! Sure as hell worked for my brother & I growing up!

Here are words we dreaded:

Wait Till Your Father Comes Home!

Man oh man still remember those words. Here were the tools used on our butts on occasion:

The BOARD of Education(small paddle board with a pic of bent over kids with RED butts LOL!)

The dreaded Wooden Spoon

That was it, when older we used to get GROUNDED for a week or two, man that was awful! But it WORKED awfully well!

Bottom line is the best way to prevent abuse is to TEACH people how to be better parents & people thinking about being parents should bloody well do some studying & thinking BEFORE the kids arrive to be better prepared for parenting

Sadly far far too few parents prepare for parenting, just most dog owners DONT train their dogs how to behave!

Do the above & abuse will decline MASSIVELY! You are all welcome!

4 ( +11 / -7 )

As i read this article ... my wife just told me that someone is coming at 10:30am today to check on my youngest daugther (she's 18 months) , she came in the past already and so did for my son... these people only stayed at the entrance of my house.. they don't even check on childrens, they just ask us few questions like (are you having trouble raising your childs?) etc....

It's a joke

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The govt is not only stupid, but also ridiculous.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Recent government efforts to stem the tide of deplorable abuse of children have been commendable. They've put the issue front and center and given the message loud and clear that they are not going to put up with abuse of kids.

However a total ban on any form of corporal punishment might be going too far and if implemented should be temporary until a healthy balance is reached.

There are some kids that just need controlled physical discipline until they learn healthy boundaries.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I am not concerned with Concerned Citizen at all. You call it abuse, I call it love. You call it punishment, I call it refreshment.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Parents have 8000 years experiences as how to take care their children, how many years experiences do the govt and human rightists have ?

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Let us ban the physical punishment of the land and sea by the govt.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Only poor parents think that. They are not at all required.

And poor parenting is if a kid misbehaves and you tell them not to do that then they continue to do it. Give them time out or sit them in a corner doesn't work for 100% of kids. They walk all over the parents then continue the same process at school knowing full well parents are push overs and have no fear of them. Big difference between a spank on the butt and punching on the face, depriving a child of food, burning skin and forcing to take a cold shower.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Now kids can criminalise their parents for doing things correct but not

approve by them, this can destabilise family and even contribute to break up.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Violence is not a solution and neither spoiling your child. As parent it’s really important to be patient and teach your kid what’s right or wrong.

Too many kids are spoiled in Japan.

People let their kids do whatever they want... run around in the supermarket, misbehaving in trains etc.

And what do parents say? “They are children forgive them”.

True. I forgive the children but I won’t forgive the parents who are not able to teach them about life.

now regarding violence.

Killing a child should be the death penalty or lifetime in prison.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The starting place for me when it comes to the raising of children is this: primary responsibility for raising children rests with the parent(s). Not schools, not society, and certainly not government.

Anything that alters that, particularly in terms of dictating what parents must / must not do as it relates to their child's care, should be considered very very carefully.

Obviously society has come to the conclusion that some basic controls / restrictions on how parents raise their children is warranted.

However, whenever such restrictions / controls are put in place, they should be enacted only when absolutely necessary.

This proposed rule is an overreach. And, indeed, overly intrusive.

There is a difference between discipline and child abuse. Banning all physical discipline / corporal punishment is, actually, a sledgehammer that is not warranted.

Corporal punishment, when properly used, is entirely appropriate and useful. Even if there are those that don't believe that is the case. Truthfully, many children are better off for it. And those that are opposed to it are free not to use it, but why should they dictate what other parents do / do not do.

Once we start down the road of government engaging in broad intrusion into the raising of children, government replaces parents as the primary authority for raising children.

Today it will be corporate punishment. Tomorrow it might be something like nutrition and the banning of soft drinks and the like. Because of the "welfare of the child".

I think this is pure laziness by the government. Rather than dealing with these things on a case-by-case basis, using the laws that are already on the book and forcing government agents to actually do their job, they are basically forcing the majority of parents to pay for the mistakes of the abusive parents.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

and honestly the government should shut up about making new laws and banning things just to look good.

The government should toughen their laws instead.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

For God's sake, from one extreme to another. Knee-jerk reaction from a government that doesn't think with its head. The problem is not physical punishment - the problem is physcial punishment gone over the top, like punching, burning with cigarette butts, sitting on someone. A single smack on the backside is not going to cause permanent damage. And you'll end up with a generation of spoilt kids.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

One of my greatest childhood memories was the day the wooden spoon smashed in half when I was hit on my bottom,

not me I collected all the wooden spoons and hid them behind the couch, my mum always wondered where all the spoons went until about a year later while cleaning up found them all behind the couch. By that time I was way too fast and she gave up chasing me around the house. I have memories of being spanked with the wooden spoon, it wasnt the pain of it that I remember it was the fear of an angry mother demanding obedianace, and it worked well most of the time. I certainly have no animostity towards my mother becuase of it actually the opposite as it taught me consequences for my actions and self control. No different if you break the law, instead the cops arrest you compared to your mother giving you a smack.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

When you 'discipline' a child with physical punishment, you teach him that when someone does something you don't like, it's OK to get violent, especially with people who are weaker/smaller than you.

We see arguments above in the vein of 'with some kids, it just doesn't work and they do things that deserve a smack or spanking'. To be blunt, that is merely evidence of poor parenting up to that point. You don't just leave kids to their own devices then belt them when they step out of line. Neither do you leave them to their own devices and just give them a talking-to, or put them on the naughty step, when they step out of line. At that point, you've already missed the boat and lines of communication are down.

Parenting begins the minute the little nipper is born. Proper parent-child bonding, 24/7 hands-on care, the building of absolute trust and affection. (One reason why 6 month's maternal leave is a joke; it takes 3 years for the foundation of what a child is going to become to develop.)

If you claim that your child 'needs' physical discipline, you're stating that that is the method you have used so far - obviously to little effect, since the physical punishment the kid has received up to this point hasn't turned him into a model citizen; he's still misbehaving.

Not using physical punishment doesn't mean just letting a kid run riot with no discipline at all. It means putting in the time and effort as a parent to do things right.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

This is good news. Time to put an end to the abuse of defenceless children.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

"Once we start down the road of government engaging in broad intrusion into the raising of children, government replaces parents as the primary authority for raising children. Today it will be corporate punishment. Tomorrow it might be something like nutrition and the banning of soft drinks and the like. Because of the "welfare of the child". This argument is an example of the "Slippery Slope" Fallacy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

A government banning physical punishment of children yet continuing to utilise the death penalty does come across as sending mixed messages. Neither is ok.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

When you 'discipline' a child with physical punishment, you teach him that when someone does something you don't like, it's OK to get violent, especially with people who are weaker/smaller than you.

The best comment so far. I take my hat off to you.

I bumped into my wife's female cousin yesterday who has a 2 year old girl. Her husband asked the little girl to call me 'Uncle'. At the beginning the girl said nothing. Then the husband said nicely to her 'Do you want to watch TV? Then say 'Uncle'. ' It took a while but finally the girl complied. There is always better ways to teach kids other than physical punishment.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

the husband said nicely to her 'Do you want to watch TV? Then say 'Uncle'. ' 

I hate to nit-pick after you gave me such nice praise, but....

He may have said it nicely, but it was still a threat. Was calling you 'Uncle' essential to the little girl's health or well-being? Would your not being called 'Uncle' have catastrophic social effects? Hardly. So there was no need to insist on blind obedience.

Simply indicating to the girl that you would like to be called 'Uncle', or that her father would like her to call you Uncle, would have been enough; if she doesn't 'obey', then that's her choice and it's no big deal; you need to act in a demonstrably avuncular manner, ie earn the title of Uncle (=the onus is on you, not her). If she does at some point call you Uncle then you and the father could express your pleasure, teaching her that doing as her father tells her brings rewards.

Positive reinforcement (=giving rewards for good behaviour) is much more effective than negative reinforcement (=removing privileges for 'bad' behaviour).

2 ( +8 / -6 )

There is a big difference between corporal punishment and child abuse. I never had to use corporal punishment on my kids and I don't judge other parents.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Parents have 8000 years experiences as how to take care their children, how many years experiences do the govt and human rightists have ?

Parents used to throw kids into volcanoes to prevent eruptions.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I think this law goes a bit too far and old fashioned people are not going to listen to it. Some degree of corporal punishment can be beneficial to the development of the child. It's gets out of hand when you start inflicting out of anger, resentment or to make yourself feel better.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Some physical punishment is acceptable like spanking or a belt. 

Probably how you were raised and use it to justify your treatment of children right?

"My parents did it, so it's ok for you"

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Sadly while I think people(even in govt) want to see a decrease in the worst of abuse I don't think this will do much good.

Like so much the govt ""does"" for us this is merely JUST for the APPEARANCE of doing something, not for ACTUALLY doing something.

We see this time & time again with the rampant abuse to labour in Japan, same now for the kids...…...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

how are they gonna enforce it? install a camera in every household?

No, but enforcement can be done once they have evidence; i.e. bruises. It does not have to be in the act.

I'd also like to know how they are going to enforce it. And does it mean that if a parent smacks his/her child, they are breaking the law?

Yes, the law is the law. The same as if you’re speeding you are breaking traffic laws. Whether they catch you or not does not determine whether it’s a violation or not.

Think about it. We don’t even spank puppies when they pee on the carpet or dogs when they break rules and they are animals. Why would you want to take a stick to a human when they have more capacity than animals to comprehend and to be trained.

That you’re unsuccessful in educating your child to behave without violence does not give you the right to beat another human being even if he is your child.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I hate to nit-pick after you gave me such nice praise, but....

No need to feel sorry. I welcome different opinion as long as it is reasonable and expressed in a respectfully way.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

quercetum , you need to train dogs.. and you should spank puppies unless you want you puppy biting someone or worse proper kicked by someone else when they try to attack them. just the same you need to train kids. reasonable amount of physical punishment is absolutely required or you will end up with very spoiled kids and someone will educate them later.. in much worse way.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

But what does physical punishment imply? Where does the state draws the line between a pat on the head vs stumping on the back of the head? Pretty sure the second one would have already fallen on the "child abuse" side of the argument and already illegal vs a pat on the head. Unless they come up with a guide to show what physical punishment is, the new ban could be a bit confusing.

Giving more power to the child welfare centers to suspected cases of accused children is a good move, tho.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No, but enforcement can be done once they have evidence; i.e. bruises. It does not have to be in the act.

Corporal punishment should not result in bruises and black eyes. What you are describing is child abuse. The two are not the same. This law fails to differentiate between spanking your child and beating them up and it will fail for this very reason.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I'd like to say I'm shocked to see all the downvotes for those praising this move or all the upvotes for folks using expressions like spare the rod ... but I'm not. Seems fully in keeping with the usual tenor of comments at JT.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

There are ways to punish your child, corporal punishment a last and limited resort.

Passing this law doesn't look at the real fact of authority like the police and welfare services not doing their damn job properly in the first place! Had they taken abuse reports more seriously, it wouldn't have come to this! Typical Japanese beaureaucracy passing the buck!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

you should spank puppies unless you want you puppy biting someone

OMG that is so, so wrong.

NEVER, ever, hit a puppy. Unless you want it to grow up fearful of humans - and all the more liable to respond in a stressful situation with biting.

Puppies play-bite because that is the way they interact with their siblings, establishing a pecking order. By the time a puppy is ready for adoption (minimum 8 weeks, 10~12 weeks better) it's ready to learn to stop biting.

How to teach a puppy not to bite: Show puppy you have a tasty treat in your hand, then close your hand around the treat so that puppy cannot get it. At first he will mouth and paw at your hand to try and get the treat; say nothing, do nothing. He only has tiny little teeth, while they're quite sharp and might hurt a bit, they can't do any real damage. At some point he will realise that he's not getting anywhere, and he will cease mouthing your hand while he backs off and tries to figure out what to do next. The instant he does that, praise him, open your hand and let him have the treat. Repeat as many times as necessary until he twigs that not putting his mouth on your hand is what gets him the reward. A very bright pup will get it in just three or four goes, a slower/more stubborn pup might take a dozen goes and need more practice in following days.

We don’t even spank puppies when they pee on the carpet

We especially don't spank puppies when they pee on the carpet, unless we want them to figure out it's better to pee when no one's looking - maybe on the bed in the master bedroom, or under the dining room table. If your puppy pees on the carpet, it's because you didn't watch for the it's-nearly-toilet-time signals and set him up for success by taking him to the Right Place to Pee. If you want to spank anybody, spank yourself!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

For this to work a reliable system of informants must be established: relatives, neighbors and the children themselves. In addition the informants must be believed without question.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

As a measure to strengthen the role of child welfare centers, some officials will be responsible exclusively for separating children from parents while other officials will be responsible for consulting with and giving advice to parents, the sources said.

You need case workers not this system, for the very reason that @darknuts described, but more, much more than this you can't keep society "working" to keep the lid on, most crime cases in JT are unemployed people, only because they have time but all are at breaking point, you need to ease the working week back down to fifty hours.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Still no answer to my question from those peace and merry folks : how can so many adult person accept that it was good thing to be from time to time, when necessary, be physically punished ?

Either million of us are mentally ill with Stockolm syndrom, or there is some intelligence used to see that experience shows it was beneficial.

No physical abuse is acceptable, but some rather rare situations need adaptation of the punishment.

By the way, I understand those who never had to use physcal punishment to tell people they are able why others are not (makes you so proud!). For you information, I did not have to use even once physical punishmeng for my last. Reason is that her good temper allows. It all depends on the child and on situation.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Still no answer to my question from those peace and merry folks : how can so many adult person accept that it was good thing to be from time to time, when necessary, be physically punished ?

I was never physically punished. I've never physically punished my kids. It's not necessary, and teaches violence as a solution to problems.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

My Mum used to hit me sometimes. My Dad never hit me.

Guess which one I listened to more.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@cleo Your Dad. 100% sure.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Instead, why not concentrate on holding social services, schools, and the police to account? How is Japan Inc going to govern what is corporal punishment?

They are avoiding the real issue here, in that they often get early warnings about these parents, but still return the children.

Will a smack on the backside or a slap on top of the head constitute corporal punishment? What these parents did in these deaths were prolonged and barbaric - and the authorities failed to deal with it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My Mum used to hit me sometimes. My Dad never hit me.

Guess which one I listened to more?

Such dads could have gotten the child to listen to him without hitting him. His way may have been easier and quicker but it’s more about their desire to be feared and respected.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Let us see if Japan will enforce this law. I have my doubts for the following reason. Article 11 of Japan's Education Law forbids corporal punishment (taibatsu) and it has been openly ignored by schools (and parents) for decades. There have been books written about taibatsu and at least one TV drama. I've written about in the Japanese press.

I do hope that at least children who are abused at home and at school are taken more seriously.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be honest, I find it embarrassing that Yua Funato is mentioned in a debate that includes smacking-type corporal punishment.

It is embarrassing because the sadistic treatment of Yua chan was so beyond anything that could be rationalized as discipline. I regard the authorities' inability to protect this child as a complete failing. The abuse of this child was so extreme that the attention need to be on how we can ensure the state does not sit by and allow such overtly criminal behaviour.

Only after such failings have been rectified should we move onto the far more nuanced discussion of smacking.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is reality that last few months many cases of child abuse published in Japan Today. Death of Mia Kurihara 10 years old girl one of heart broken news ever in seen. I greatly appreciate to PM Shinzo Abe and his cabinet for this legislation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Bad idea. Some children you don't need to spank. Others need that approach. They should even bring it back in schools. But I guess they want more spoiled people/adults being groomed in japan. I would think like anything,.. moderation and balance is important. Some parents overly do it or abuse it, while others don't do enough.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This is going to create a lot of grey areas. I hope that the law is clear or common sense prevails so parents who give their kid a swot on the bum are not lumped into the same group as parents who beat and torture their kids.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Violence is the last resort of the uncreative person who has run out of ideas. So a person who hits a child is basically admitting they're too stupid to outsmart a five-year-old.

I totally disagree, personally, I think a lot of kids missed out on a decent spanking. I think it’s ok when necessary if it’s the final result should all else fails. To simply say it’s wrong or it shouldn’t be allowed is preposterous. It may not be for everyone and some kids really don’t need it, some do, of course you never want to strike a child out of pure emotional anger, but if it is used as a tool when really necessary, I think it can be a positive thing. All children are different, grow up in different circumstances, we should never judge any parent that chooses to physically punish their children if we don’t know the circumstances.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It would be excellent to ban physical punishment. It is difficult to enforce but gives a clear signal that it is not allowed. Nothing good comes from physical punishment.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hahaha, yeah, right! Let me guess... there is to be no punishment for people who do not obey the ban, and no clear definition of what constitutes physical abuse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Christian Dr. James Dobson authored a book Dare to Discipline worth a read.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Sitting here reading, mouth open aghast at the number of yous condoning disciplining children by "smacking" or the use of a belt... Are you serious?! I grew up in the 60s when physical punishment was the norm according to my classmates. When I was in kindergarten age I got a spanking (flat hand to the butt) once and from then I prodded my butt with cardboard just in case it might happen again because I had no idea what I had been punished for. Only once I got a slap across the face by my dad when I came home late from school. I had good reasons to be late but he wouldn't listen. My dad is dead since 2001 but I've never forgiven him that single slap.

Beating kids is wrong, no matter if its "just a slap" or reducing them to a crying mess with belts, spoons, sticks or whatever. Reading all the comments from folks that claim it didn't do them any harm convinces me it did. Very much so...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There's abuse and there's parenting. I don't think the government should have any right on how parents decide to discipline/parent their children.

You do not own your children, they are not your property. You do not have the right to assault them, or anyone else.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Sorry people but let me say...starring at the photo, I can't help but to choke up on tears - just contemplating her humble warm gentle smile... and this terrible - horrible act happened to her! May GOD have mercy on all of us for not doing enough to protect the defenseless ones. Children are not ours to abuse nor destroy. They are a divine gift to learn the process on how to love someone on borrowed time. Then they will take off and pass it forward.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Luddite - there's a very clear difference between punishment and abuse. My son was spanked hard, ONCE, in a supermarket when he ultimately tried taking candies I said several times, he couldn't have. He pulled that screaming-laying-on-the-floor-kicking-bullsh1t, and found out the hard way that I don't tolerate that behaviour. He's 18 years old now and turned out fine. He was punished several times since then, all non-physical.

Banning corporal punishment will not stop abuse. Way to go J government - another step in the wrong direction as usual.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

My son was spanked hard, ONCE, in a supermarket when he ultimately tried taking candies I said several times, he couldn't have.

This just teaches that violence is an appropriate response when someone won’t listen to you.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Luddite - there's a very clear difference between punishment and abuse. My son was spanked hard, ONCE, in a supermarket when he ultimately tried taking candies I said several times, he couldn't have. He pulled that screaming-laying-on-the-floor-kicking-bullsh1t, and found out the hard way that I don't tolerate that behaviour. He's 18 years old now and turned out fine. He was punished several times since then, all non-physical. 

Banning corporal punishment will not stop abuse. Way to go J government - another step in the wrong direction as usual.

100% I agree, spot on.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

This is not about whether corporal punishment is child abuse. It is a fine example of the state overreaching and taking away freedoms after incidents that they themselves are responsible for. Knowing full well that there was abuse going on, the social workers were told by the mother that the girl was not home in early February and what was their response? They probably said, OK, we'll try again next month. That was too late. This makes me so so angry because we pay for these social workers to do one thing - and they did not do it. Theses worker either do not have the training or power to do what they should be doing. Fix that.

And by the way, with this new legislation, expect to see that 130,000 cases exponentially increase. Do you really think social workers will be able to find the truly evil parents when they are bogged down investigating all of these non-issues?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I grew up in what seems to be the last generation where physical punishment was used in school and at home, and all it did was make me hate the people dishing it out. I used to fantasize for the day where I could get revenge on my teacher or parents, thinking all day in class on how satisfying it would be to be able to fight back. Violence just leads to more violence.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I see!

So shall we expect professional services to pop out!

The vacuum is always filled up and Japanese are so practical after all...

There should be balance in everything but of coarse above all is to protect children of abusive parents.

And have more social services for parents that have problems - often stress from work cause good people to be inpatient with their kids and use force to impose their will.

The society has a lot of mental problems that need to be more quickly addressed on a personal basis. Often people who know it is not right can not ask and can not find help.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Investment into parenting classes would be a good thing. People hit their kids because they don’t have the resources to know how to deal with their kids without violence. It’s not easy. We should be teaching parents how to be better.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

About damn time! The amount of sheer child abuse that still goes on in this world is sickening.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Banning corporal punishment will not stop abuse. Way to go J government - another step in the wrong direction as usual.

No, it won't stop abuse. It will go a long way in reducing it, which is the correct direction.

People hit their kids because they don’t have the resources to know how to deal with their kids without violence

Not only do I agree with this, so do the professionals.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Luddite - there's a very clear difference between punishment and abuse.

Indeed, punishment does not have to be violence. I was punished as a child but not assaulted. It is possible.

If you physically assault a person, adult or child, you are breaking the law, so I do not understand why you think the law shouldn't apply to you when you hit your child.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One of my vivid memories of school was the entire class being strapped...all of us except one girl.

She had been apparently kicked in the rear end on the playground and since no one would admit it or identify the culprit, each and every one of us was strapped, and hard.

I was 6 years old.

That's the way it was when I was a small child. Would I like to see that today? Obviously not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Nippori The teacher(s) who did that to you guys should have been arrested and fired.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@clea

My Mum used to hit me sometimes. My Dad never hit me.

Guess which one I listened to more.

And yet, between the two of them, your parents still got you to listen. My mother never spanked me but I sure listened to her because all she had to do was tell my father that I was misbehaving.

I think you fail to realize that parents are a team. Both of them don't need to spank a child, they need to use it effectively, like they did with you. According your your own words, it worked.

There is a grand difference between abuse and discipline.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Worked well in the western world. ..

Now the kids tell their parents what to do.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think you fail to realize that parents are a team. Both of them don't need to spank a child, they need to use it effectively, like they did with you. According your your own words, it worked.

But did she grow up well because she got spanked, or in spite of it?

Soanking teaches kids that violence is an acceptable response when you can’t make someone do what you want them to do. There’s always a non-violent alternative.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Worked well in the western world. ..

Now the kids tell their parents what to do.

People have been saying that for generations. Some kids have always been that way. That’s why parents need parenting lessons. Knowing how to deal with difficult kids while having zero experience parenting difficult kids is an unrealistic expectation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

But did she grow up well because she got spanked, or in spite of it?

Well, we really don't know, however, I can confidently say from personal experience of being spanked as a child for misbehaving (I could be a brat at times) and subsequently grew up to be relatively successful with a family of my own, I'd say it worked. I'll also counter with this: Did she not listen to her mother because her mother hit her or did her mother hit her because she didn't listen? Our memories of our childhood can be a little... shall we say... rose colored?

Spanking teaches kids that violence is an acceptable response when you can’t make someone do what you want them to do.

Not at all. That just a reason used by people who do not believe in spanking their children. It teaches children, who may be too young to understand just because they are told something is bad that it is bad, that there are consequences for their actions (or inaction).

You seem to think that people who believe in spankings deliver them for anything and everything. Didn't do the dishes - spanking. Didn't make your bed - spanking. For proper discipline, that couldn't be further from the truth.

When it's more like 'Repeatedly run into the street and almost get hit by a car despite your mom telling you not to - spanking' or 'Throw a baseball in the house and break a window after your dad specifically told you to go outside for the second time - spanking.' Sometimes it takes a little something extra to get a child's attention when normal discipline did not.

There’s always a non-violent alternative.

Sure, hopefully, but no, not always. If you haven't needed to spank your kids, that's great. Myself I think my daughter got spanked once when she was growing up. Do all kids need corporal punishment? Of course not. But for some, normal discipline just doesn't work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not at all. That just a reason used by people who do not believe in spanking their children. It teaches children, who may be too young to understand just because they are told something is bad that it is bad, that there are consequences for their actions (or inaction).

There are always non-violent alternatives to show consequences for their actions. As a teacher, I taught kids as young as 1 year old, up to 15 years old. Some of them were particularly difficult - couldn't hit them. Had to find other ways. As a parent, I went through (and still do) stages where my kids were particularly belligerent. There is always a non-violent alternative.

You seem to think that people who believe in spankings deliver them for anything and everything. Didn't do the dishes - spanking. Didn't make your bed - spanking. For proper discipline, that couldn't be further from the truth.

I'm not sure why you think I think that - I don't. But I don't agree with spanking at any time.

Sure, hopefully, but no, not always. If you haven't needed to spank your kids, that's great. Myself I think my daughter got spanked once when she was growing up. Do all kids need corporal punishment? Of course not. But for some, normal discipline just doesn't work.

Yes, always. When normal discipline doesn't work, alternative methods may be necessary, but they should never be violent.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The government aims to clarify in a guideline what kinds of disciplinary acts constitute physical punishment.

That's the Japan way, announce a huge plan or idea and not know any details.

I dont see a problem with spanking a kid, a smack on the hand or head or bottom isnt abuse. Of course if thats your only form of disipline theres a problem. Sometimes my "Daddy aint playin" look gets the job done.

Kids in Japan really have it made, pass through school even if you dont try, teachers cant do much at all, parents pay for anything bad you do and are the ones shamed. No one really deals with bullies because they're kids too. The system is broke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kids in Japan really have it made, pass through school even if you dont try, teachers cant do much at all, parents pay for anything bad you do and are the ones shamed. No one really deals with bullies because they're kids too.

The problem here is that you are condemning bullying above, even though you've promoted actions that teach bullying here:

I dont see a problem with spanking a kid, a smack on the hand or head or bottom isnt abuse.

Imposing one's physical presence on someone who is entirely too small to defend against it, through physical violence, is a major component of bullying.

If we want to teach our kids bullying is unacceptable, we need to first start with not bullying our kids.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangerland,

Bullying is an entirely different thing.

spanking a kid and beating, belittling, harrassing, shaming a kid just because you're bigger are different.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bullying is an entirely different thing.

spanking a kid and beating, belittling, harrassing, shaming a kid just because you're bigger are different.

If I'm unable to see the difference, how do you expect a child to?

You may think it's different, but the lesson learned by children is that violence is an acceptable response to people who don't do what you want them to.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Violence has a pretty clear definiton.

You dont have to scream and make the devil's face when you pop a kid on the butt.

Domestic Violence does have an impact on bullying. that is very true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Violence has a pretty clear definiton.

And are children mentally developed enough to differentiate between what you define as violence, and them being acted towards violently, to be able to understand that violence is ok in some situations and not in others?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And are children mentally developed enough to differentiate between what you define as violence, and them being acted towards violently, to be able to understand that violence is ok in some situations and not in others?

What? Thought we were clear what "Violence" means.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What? Thought we were clear what "Violence" means.

We obviously are not in the same opinion on the matter. I think hitting kids is violence. You think that sometimes its not.

My question is whether you think the kids can tell the difference between which times they are being hit are the times when violence is ok, and which times it is not ok. What do you think, can they tell?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My question is whether you think the kids can tell the difference between which times they are being hit are the times when violence is ok, and which times it is not ok. What do you think, can they tell?

I'm trying to see this question from your point, but I cant if the level of a lil smack on the hand, head or butt to you is considered Violence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think you fail to realize that parents are a team.

Being a parent myself, I'm well aware of the fact that parenting is teamwork.

Did she not listen to her mother because her mother hit her or did her mother hit her because she didn't listen? 

Looking back now with 20/20 hindsight and with a ton of parenting experience of my own under my belt, I can understand that when my Mum hit me, it wasn't really discipline; it was just that she was tired and stressed out from trying to cope with three kids while managing very tight purse strings, hold down a low-paying menial job and manage the house without the benefit of the mod cons we take for granted today (I still remember her joy when we eventually got an electric washing machine with wringers, a vacuum cleaner and a fridge). And when we stepped out of line (I didn't often; I was pretty much Little Miss Goody Two Shoes until well into my teens), she snapped and lashed out. I've done the same with my kids a couple of times, when I was overtired & stressed, and both times I was wrong and I regretted it immediately because it wasn't discipline, it was weakness on my part.

But did she grow up well because she got spanked, or in spite of it?

lol Thank you for allowing that I grew up well.

As I've touched on above, I don't think it was because I was (very occasionally) spanked. We learned, when Mum was feeling 'that way', to simply stay out of her way. We (mainly my brothers) learned that if you're gonna misbehave, do it when Mum isn't watching.

But with Dad, it was different; the very thought that he would be disappointed in me if he found out that I had done something bad was enough to keep me on the straight and narrow; even if he never found out, I would know. And that would diminish me in my own eyes. Rather than in-the-moment 'discipline', what he practiced was long-term character building, and that is what I tried to emulate in raising my own kids.

It teaches children, who may be too young to understand just because they are told something is bad that it is bad, that there are consequences for their actions

No, it teaches children that there are consequences if they get caught. Now, if we're talking about tiny tots unable to understand simple commands, surely we are not talking discipline but management. If a toddler reaches his hand out towards a flame, the only response at that time might be to slap the hand away, to prevent the child suffering burns. Touching the flame isn't bad, it's dangerous. But if you're in charge of that child, what on earth are you thinking of allowing naked flames to be within toddler reach?? In such a case surely it's the adult that needs disciplining, not the child.

'Repeatedly run into the street and almost get hit by a car despite your mom telling you not to - spanking'

A child too young to understand that traffic is dangerous, yet old enough to be quick on his feet, needs to be on a harness and leash near a busy road, or to have his hand held firmly. If that isn't happening, again it's the adult at fault, not the child. Why 'discipline' the child for your own mistakes?

'Throw a baseball in the house and break a window after your dad specifically told you to go outside for the second time - spanking.'

So now we're not talking about children who may be too young to understand, but children who know perfectly well that they're crossing the line - and continue to cross the line even after presumably having been 'disciplined' in the past for the same or similar infractions, which would indicate that the discipline isn't working. And we're back to bad deeds have consequences only if you get found out. The consequence of breaking a window is glass all over the place and possibly someone getting hurt from flying glass. But by your logic, if Dad isn't around when the ball went through the window and both the kid and the ball have scarpered by the time Dad comes home, there are no consequences. This is the same logic that allows drivers to happily break the speed limit - except when they know the speed cameras are working. It's the same logic that allows DUI because if you don't get stopped for a breathalyser, there are no consequences. There are arguably no consequences if you kill someone, so long as there are no witnesses, you wipe off all the fingerprints and dispose of the weapon and other incriminating evidence.

Yes, the examples get more and more extreme. But the logic is exactly the same.

Teach your kids that bad things are bad because they are bad, not because they'll get spanked if they get caught.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Simplistic legal fix for a complicated problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The entire legal approach forgets that people's thoughts and actions cannot be "controlled" by laws.

It also is a band-aid approach and forget to get at the root, the cause of such need for physical action or the problem with those who use physical action.

It is also a social and societal problem and not a legal problem till such events occur.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You do not own your children, they are not your property. You do not have the right to assault them, or anyone else.

Don’t own children? Okay, one doesn’t.

Don’t own toddlers? Okay, one doesn’t.

Don’t own infants? Okay, one doesn’t.

Don’t own new-borns? Okay, one doesn’t.

Don’t own ... ? No. They’re not human beings so it’s okay to own them and do with them as you wish. That’s the law.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@cleo and strangeland

We're going to agree to disagree on this. We've already gone full circle. While I respect your opinions and consider you lucky that your children didn't require physical discipline, I don't agree that it never has its place when used properly at the correct time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm trying to see this question from your point, but I cant if the level of a lil smack on the hand, head or butt to you is considered Violence.

Again, it’s not me that matters unless I’m the one hit.

I suggest that hitting a kid in any capacity is violence.

Can kids tell the difference between what is acceptable violence and what isn’t? And if you are using pain as a conditioning activity, are kids supposed to somehow learn that they aren’t supposed to use pain to control others when they can’t get them to do what they want through words?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I also believe that some form of punishment like a spanking is justifiable. I believe it's good that kids are punished by parents rather than the court system. I was spanked as a kid like my sister, and we turned out well. Never been in the nick, never did drugs, and was never in the bad behavioral crowd. We're both in good jobs with good families. However, the economy can be much better. When I spank my kids (sparingly), I always tell them why they got it, while reinforcing good manners. It also helps that parents set the example for them, since kids learn more by observation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well if you were to walk up to a kid on the street and abuse him/her, I assume you'd be arrested. So I don't understand why they need a new law to enforce this to begin with.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well if you were to walk up to a kid on the street and abuse him/her, I assume you'd be arrested. So I don't understand why they need a new law to enforce this to begin with.

If someone smacked their own kid upside the head on the street, they aren't likely to be arrested. If they smack someone else's kid up the head on the street, they are much more likely to be arrested.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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