Head of mothers support group accused of beating wife


A man who runs a nonprofit organization promoting motherhood has been arrested on suspicion of beating his wife and putting her in the hospital, police said Tuesday.

Shinji Morimatsu, 49, chairman of the Tokyo-based Japan Mothers Society, allegedly hit his 51-year-old wife in the head and face and then kicked her in the chest and abdomen as she lay on the floor at their home in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, on May 26.

The Japan Mothers Society holds seminars on child rearing as well as giving out a “Best Mother” award every year, usually to a high-profile actress with children, with its chairman presenting the trophy in a blaze of publicity.

Police said Morimatsu’s wife took a month to recover from her injuries. They said she took a while before deciding to pursue charges.

“His wife reported the incident after she went to the hospital on the day, and we tried to persuade her to file an official complaint,” a police spokesman said.

“Her reply at the time was, ‘Let me think about it.’ Then in July she decided to file the report, so we started the investigation,” he said.

She hinted that there had been previous incidents of domestic violence, the official said, adding that officers were investigating the allegations.

Morimatsu, who was arrested Monday, told police that he and his wife had quarreled but insisted there had been no violence, the official said.

The couple, who have had no contact with each other since May, have no children, he said.

An official at the Japan Mothers Society said no one was available to comment on Morimatsu’s arrest.