Child abuse, porn cases in Japan hit record highs in 2016

The number of cases of child abuse and pornography in Japan reached record highs in 2016, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The police reported to child consultation centers suspected abuse of 54,227 minors aged below 18, up 46.5% from the previous year and topping the 50,000 line for the first time since comparable statistics became available in 2004.

Cases of psychological abuse came to nearly 40,000, accounting for more than 60% of the total.

The number of child abuse cases increased for the 12th consecutive year, marking a sharp rise from 962 in 2004.

The police also said a record 1,313 children were victims of child pornography, up 45.1% from the preceding year. The number of investigated cases totaled 2,097, up 8.2%, with that of perpetrators involved reaching 1,531, up 3.2% and also the highest since statistics began in 2000.

On child abuse cases, an agency official attributed the rise in the reported figure to increased awareness among citizens about such abuse. In April last year, the agency ordered police officers across Japan to actively report suspected abuse cases to consultation centers.

In 2016, the police offered protection to a record 3,521 minors due to threats to life, up 34.2% from the year before, the agency said.

The number of psychological abuse cases surged 53.9% to 37,183, of which around 70% also involved domestic violence by parents. Physical abuse was suspected with 11,165 children, up 35.2%.

The police took law enforcement actions in a record 1,081 abuse cases, up 31.5% and including 866 cases of physical abuse. The cases involved 1,113 abusers and 1,108 victims, both record highs. Among the victims, 67 children died.

The child consultation centers provide temporary shelter to children or dispatch staff to families with potentially abused children.

Meanwhile, production of child pornography through the use of spy cameras became a punishable offence in Japan in 2014, and possession of child pornography in 2015.

According to types of damage, those who were tricked or coerced into being photographed naked stood at 480 or 36.6% of the total victims, followed by 426 or 32.4% who were photographed by spy cameras, while 186 or 14.2% were victims of child prostitution and other obscene acts.

Around 80% of those who took their own pictures did not know the criminals, and over 70% first met with them through social media sites, the report showed.

Source:https://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/child-abuse-porn-cases-in-japan-hit-record-highs-in-2016