• Kyodo

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A total of 44 children and young people aged under 18 died as a result of abuse in Japan in fiscal 2014, up eight from the previous year, with more than half killed by their mothers, a government panel survey showed Friday.

Of the 44 deaths over the year through March 2015, 22 victims were female and 20 male, with the gender of the victims unknown in the remaining cases, according to the survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare panel.

Babies aged under 1 year old accounted for the largest group of victims at a record 61.4 percent followed by 3-year-olds at 15.9 percent and 1-year-olds at 9.1 percent. The oldest victim was 14 years old.

By type of abuse, 54.5 percent of the cases involved physical abuse and 34.1 percent involved child neglect, such as not providing food.

One case of death involved psychological abuse, the ministry said, referring to a second-year junior high school student who killed himself in Tokyo in July 2014 after being pressured by his foster father to “commit suicide within 24 hours.”

Of the 44 deaths, 28 were killed by their biological mothers, three by their biological fathers, and two by both parents. Other perpetrators included a mother’s partner.

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