The number of human rights violations reported to the Justice Ministry’s regional legal affairs bureaus across Japan reached a record-high 23,800 in 2005, up 4 percent from the previous year, a ministry tally showed Thursday.

Of the total violations reported in 2005, about 10 percent were by public servants and teachers, almost unchanged from the previous year.

By type, sexual harassment and other forcible action cases reached 7,144, assault and abuse 5,040, and noise and other action affecting community safety 4,790, the ministry said.

Violations using the Internet climbed nearly 40 percent to 272 cases, according to the ministry’s Civil Liberties Bureau. This type of violation involves posting face pictures of suspects in juvenile crime cases and discriminatory messages on Web sites.

Meanwhile, complaints about phone fraud in which people are tricked into transferring money to criminals’ bank accounts increased 20 percent from the year before to about 4,000. In 2004, such complaints posted a 25-fold rise from the preceding year to 3,454.

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