More details have emerged on the death of a ten-year-old girl due to suspected abuse by her parents.
Mia Kurihara was found dead at her home in Noda City, near Tokyo, in late January. Police have arrested her parents on suspicion of inflicting injuries.
Police say the girl did not attend school at all in January. Her father had told the school his daughter will be absent until the end of the month because she will be with her family in Okinawa.
But the girl's mother had a different story. She has reportedly told investigators her husband physically abused the girl during the school's winter vacation, resulting in bruises on visible parts of her body.
She says her husband ordered her not to let the girl out of their home to avoid raising suspicion.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking in the Diet on Wednesday, expressed a strong determination to have relevant ministries and agencies do all they can to prevent such abuse.
In an emergency meeting at the prime minister's office, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita instructed top ministry and agency officials to step up measures against child abuse.
The government plans to convene a meeting of relevant ministers shortly to discuss measures such as better cooperation between education boards and child welfare centers.