• Kyodo News

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With serious cases of child abuse showing no signs of abating, the National Police Agency instructed police forces nationwide Tuesday to more actively confront families where children are suspected of being abused.

The instructions are meant to secure greater police involvement in detecting child abuse cases and thus getting children into protective custody as soon as possible.

The NPA was to hold an emergency meeting of prefectural force juvenile division chiefs Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo so the instructions will be thoroughly conveyed, agency officials said.

The instructions say it is important for police to directly confirm the safety of children.

Specifically, the NPA is urging prefectural departments to do whatever they can by proactively employing crime investigation knowhow as well as authorized power to intervene in such cases as stipulated under the law regulating police duties.

The number of child abuse cases that police took action against during the January-June period increased 14.3 percent from a year earlier to 120, the highest since the NPA started compiling statistics for the first half of 2000.

The number of abused kids reached 128, of whom 28 died.

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