The number of children reported by police to child consultation centers across Japan for suspected abuse shot upward in the first half of this year.
The National Police Agency says its personnel referred 37,113 children under the age of 18 to child centers from January through June. That's up 6,851 from the same period of 2017. The figure for all of 2017 set a record high.
About 70 percent, or 26,415, of the children were subjected to psychological abuse, such as verbal abuse by parents and displays of violence between parents.
Police made an arrest or arrests in 641 child abuse cases in the 6-month period. That's also a sharp rise year on year. The figure for all of last year was a record high in this category, too.
Police say they believe the increases stem from growing public awareness of child abuse.
They plan to continue boosting cooperation with child consultation centers and other entities to deal with cases quickly.