National

Tokyo government ridiculed for mistake suggesting mascot supports child abuse

Kyodo

A Tokyo government website tasked with tackling child abuse unintentionally appeared to do the exact opposite, when a caption under an image of a mascot skipped a vital word, government officials acknowledged Wednesday.

The caption displayed beneath an image of the metropolitan government’s official anti-child abuse snail mascot, Osekkai Kun, on the homepage of the Japanese-language website was meant to read “child abuse prevention promotion character,” but instead read “child abuse promotion character.”

The mistake was pointed out by a resident and fixed Tuesday, two months after the errant text was first placed on the site following its April 10 relaunch. Work on the project had been outsourced to an external contractor, according to the officials.

Before it was addressed the error drew ire on the internet, with people making comments such as “you shouldn’t be promoting child abuse” and “it means the opposite.”

“This is a mistake that should not have happened, especially from a standpoint of trying to prevent child abuse,” an official from Tokyo’s Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health said.

“We will make all efforts to ensure it doesn’t happen again as we continue to raise awareness and educate people about abuse prevention,” the official said.

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