Cases of child abuse and the number of abused children both hit record highs in Japan last year.
The National Police Agency says there were 1,380 cases of child abuse nationwide last year involving arrests or questioning. The number of victims under 18 totaled 1,394.
The figures were the highest since police began taking statistics in 2003.
In addition, police referred 80,252 possibly abused children to child welfare centers. They also took 4,571 children into protective custody in emergencies and at night. Both figures were record highs.
Child mistreatment has been making headlines in Japan.
Last March, a 5-year-old girl in Tokyo was starved to death by her parents. In January, a ten-year-old girl was found dead at her home in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo. Her parents were arrested on suspicion of abuse.
The Japanese government plans to submit a bill to the current Diet session for legal revisions to prevent child abuse.
Police across Japan plan to work more closely with schools and child welfare centers to detect signs of abuse early on so that they can protect children.