Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 06:56 EST
TOKYO — The number of consultations on child abuse accepted by city, town and village governments across Japan during fiscal 2005 through March 31, 2006, totaled 38,183, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a report released Tuesday.
No comparable annual figure is available because this was the first year that municipal governments have handled child consultations under the revised child welfare law which came into force in April 2005, ministry officials said.
and in a not entirely dissimilar note....
Car rams into children on Utsunomiya street, injuring 2; driver jumps out and tries to stab passerby
Friday, October 27, 2006 at 14:33 EDT
UTSUNOMIYA — A car rammed into a group of primary-school children on their way to school Friday morning on a street in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, injuring two of them, police said. The driver, armed with a large knife, got out of the car and chased a female passerby in an apparent attempt to stab her but was subsequently restrained by several men passing by. One of the men was hit in the head by the knife and suffered injuries, according to police.
The man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and violating the law controlling the possession of swords and firearms. He was identified as Nanao Fujita, a 64-year-old resident in the city.
Police said they also found a loaded pistol they believe belongs to the man.
Fujita was quoted as telling the police, "My daughter who was living with me until earlier this month was being bullied." The girl had been going to the same school as the students hit by the car until moving to another school in the middle of this month, according to the school.
Police said they are looking into the possibility the man deliberately targeted the children, who live in the same area. The Utsunomiyaminami police said the man visited them seven times from 2003 through 2005 to complain that he was not on good terms with his neighbors.
The incident took place just after 7:30 a.m. after the man left home in his car. An 8-year-old boy had his left leg broken, while a 9-year-old girl sustained minor injuries, the police said.
After ramming into the children, the car went backwards and forwards several times, hitting a home and other places before stopping.