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Satoru Tanaka tentatively pulls from his briefcase a well-thumbed sheet of plain paper, onto which has been sketched three smiling faces along with a simple but astute message: “Daddy’s promise,” it begins. “Always smile, and if you feel the urge to fight, take a deep breath.”

As he reads the message, written not by a life counselor but his 10-year-old daughter, Tanaka (not his real name) lets out a faint sigh as he recalls one of the times he abused his wife.

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