Govt. Approves Bill To Tackle Child Abuse

Govt. approves bill to tackle child abuse

Japan's government has approved revisions to its child abuse prevention law following a series of high-profile abuse cases in which victims have died.

The draft bill, approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, bans parents from physically punishing children.

It requires lawyers and doctors to be stationed at child welfare centers so they can share their expertise.

The bill also outlines plans to increase the number of consultation centers.

Professionals offering support and counseling to victims of domestic violence will be asked to help detect child abuse in its early stages.

The government's bill also calls for a review of a part of Japan's civil code that gives parents the right to "discipline" their children.

It includes plans to conduct studies on the licensing of child welfare workers, including the possibility of national government-issued licenses.

The government hopes to pass the bill during the current Diet session.

Japan's National Police Agency says the number of child abuse cases hit an all-time high last year.

A 5-year-old girl died in Tokyo last March after her parents allegedly neglected to feed her and provide medical care.

In January, a 10-year-old girl was found dead at her home in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo. Her parents have been arrested on suspicion of abuse.