The January death of 10-year-old Mia Kurihara in Chiba Prefecture, allegedly at the hands of her abusive father, shocked Japan after coming on the heels of a similar case involving a 5-year-old girl in Tokyo's Meguro Ward last year.

In both cases, the children sought protection by authorities and were even placed in protective custody by child welfare centers. Yet, the centers ultimately failed them.

This raises the question: How did both cases end in tragedy despite calls for help?