Police data shows Japan child abuse at record high

Cases of alleged child abuse in Japan have risen to their highest level since records began 10 years ago.

Police figures indicate 187 children were the suspected victims of physical and sexual abuse in the first half of this year. Eighteen children died.

The report also found that cases of child pornography in the same period had risen by about 60% to 599 cases.

Analysts say the higher figures partly reflect an official clampdown on the sexual exploitation of children.

Read the rest of the story: BBC News – Japan child abuse at record high, police data shows.

Strong Words from Campbell on Child Custody Cases concerning US and Japan

There are about 70 cases of American parents who are kept from seeing their children in Japan, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell met with several of them in a group earlier Tuesday. He called their situations “heart-breaking.”

In some cases, Japanese mothers living overseas have fled to Japan with their children and kept the fathers from having any contact with the kids, even if court rulings abroad ordered joint custody.

“This situation has to be resolved in order to ensure that U.S.-Japan relations continue on such a positive course,” Campbell told reporters in Tokyo. “The United States government strongly believes that these children have a right to enjoy the love of both parents and the benefits of both cultures.”

Campbell’s comments are the strongest to date on this issue, with Tokyo coming under increased international pressure to sign on to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which is designed to address such international custody disputes.