914 Cases of Inappropriate Care Found at Nurseries in Japan

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan has confirmed 914 cases of inappropriate child care, including 90 cases of abuse, at nursery schools across the country between April and December 2022, a survey by the Children and Families Agency showed Friday.

The government conducted the survey in response to the revelation last year of assaults on children by teachers at a nursery school in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The survey covered 1,741 municipalities and received answers from 1,530. During the period, they checked 1,492 suspected cases of inappropriate child care at nursery schools licensed by prefectural governors and recognized 914 of them as inappropriate.

By prefecture, the largest number of inappropriate child care cases was confirmed in Tokyo, at 173, followed by 79 in Gifu and 65 in Kanagawa.

Of the 90 abuse cases, there were 36 cases of physical abuse, 42 cases of mental abuse, 20 cases of sexual abuse and four neglect cases. They include cases involving two or more abuse types.

The survey also found 402 cases of inappropriate child care at nursery facilities that operate under less strict standards.

The agency instructed municipalities across the country to prevent inappropriate child care at nursery facilities. “Abuse must not happen,” Masanobu Ogura, minister for child-related policies, told a press conference.