Child abuse cases top 120,000 in Japan in FY 2016

Child abuse increased in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures, the ministry also said in a preliminary report for the year that ended in March.

The overall number of child abuse cases handled by child counseling centers across the country rose 19,292, or 18.7 pct, from the previous year to 122,578, the worst figure since comparable data became available in fiscal 1990.

The increase came as the police, amid growing public awareness of child abuse, received more reports about domestic violence that took place in the face of children and asked the centers to deal with those mental abuse cases, the ministry pointed out in the report.

Japan saw the number of child abuse cases exceed 120,000 in fiscal 2016 to hit a new record for the 26th straight year, the welfare ministry said Thursday. (Jiji)

The northernmost island prefecture of Hokkaido is awash with wild cannabis plants. A relic from the once widespread hemp industry that was nearly wiped out following World War II, these plants are currently forbidden to touch unless by an authorized removal team. (

Japanese researchers say an extinct variety of otter formerly widespread across the country may still survive in southwestern Japan. The Japanese river otter was officially declared extinct in 2012. (NHK)

Japan’s Defense Ministry has decided to consider introducing a new US-made missile defense system known as “Aegis Ashore” in light of progress in North Korea’s missile development. (NHK)

Huge bonfires on mountains lit up Japan’s old capital, Kyoto, on Wednesday night in an annual Buddhist ceremony. (NHK)

The Imperial Household Agency said on Thursday it will announce the informal engagement of Princess Mako, a granddaughter of the Emperor and Empress, to former university classmate Kei Komuro on Sept. 3. (

Lack of sunshine caused by prolonged cloudy conditions and lingering rain in Pacific coastal areas of northeastern Japan may cause problems for the rice harvest. (NHK)

A giant tortoise that made a break from a Japanese zoo has been found safe and sound two weeks after it escaped — just 140 meters from the park. (Japan Today)

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to visit flood-hit northern areas of the Kyushu southwestern Japan region in late October, Imperial Household Agency sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)

From beer gardens on the rooftops of department stores to fireworks extravaganzas to quiet, wood-paneled craft breweries, Japanese seem to quaff an awful lot of beer in the summer. (

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