Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)–Seventy-eight children died of abuse in Japan in fiscal 2019, down by five from the preceding year, an experts’ panel of the welfare ministry said in a survey report Friday.
Excluding cases in which children were killed due to murder-suicide by parents, child abuse deaths came to 57 in the year to March 2020. Of the children, 28 were aged under 1, including 11 under one month old.
Birth mothers were responsible for 30 of the 57 deaths.
Of the 57 children, 17 died from physical abuse and 13 from neglect. In 20 cases, the mothers did not receive prenatal checkups.
Child abuse deaths, excluding murder-suicide cases, have totaled 890 since the panel began the survey in July 2003, with physical abuse cases accounting for 60 pct and neglect cases 30 pct.
The panel conducted a survey following an increase in deaths from neglect in recent years, finding out that many women became pregnant and gave birth in their teens or did not undergo prenatal checkups.
Regarding cases in which children died on the day of birth, the panel pointed out that many of the mothers were suffering social isolation, such as having no one to talk to about their pregnancy.
It called on administrative authorities, mainly local governments, to establish a support system to reach out to such women at an early stage and consult them to sort out their problems.