In an attempt to reach out to children in need of help and support, eight suprapartisan House of Representatives members formed a federation Thursday to set up a 24-hour telephone help line.

Supported by 56 other Diet members from both chambers, the federation aims to open a full-time telephone help line in Japan and help the service take root in the society. “Bullying has cast a shadow over the everyday lives of Japanese children since the mid ’80s,” Nobuto Hosaka, secretary general of the federation and a Social Democratic Party member in the Lower House, said in the inauguration meeting. “We need to develop a system to listen to, and act on, cornered children’s cries for help as soon as possible.”

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