A record 2,170 cases of child abuse were investigated last year in Japan, up 1.7% from the previous year, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to reduce opportunities for welfare workers to intervene, a police report showed Thursday.

The number of minors referred to child welfare centers nationwide due to suspicion of abuse, meanwhile, also reached a record high at 108,050, up 1% from the previous year and surpassing 100,000 for the second consecutive year, the National Police Agency said in a preliminary report. Minors are defined as children under 18 years old.

By category, 80,299 minors suffered verbal or emotional abuse, 19,185 physical abuse, 8,270 neglect and 296 sexual abuse. Psychological and sexual abuse both increased from the previous year.