The number of child abuse cases handled by child consultation centers across the nation in fiscal 2013, which ended March 31, stood at 73,765, topping the 70,000 mark for the first time since the government began compiling data in fiscal 1990, the government said Monday.

The data, released by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, covered cases handled by the 207 child consultation centers which are run by prefectural and major city governments.

Efforts to uncover cases of child abuse seem to have produced an increase in the preliminary data of 10.6 percent from the previous fiscal year, ministry officials said.