A total of 120 child abuse and other mistreatment cases at nurseries and kindergartens have been reported at 37 local governments over the past decade, prompting administrative actions, according to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday.

The cases have generally been on an uptrend on the back of increased workloads on teachers and as corporal punishment and discipline come under greater scrutiny, experts said.

The survey, which covered 95 prefectural and city governments across Japan, followed a series of child mistreatment incidents, including one that led to the arrest in December of three women — working as teachers at a nursery school in Shizuoka Prefecture — for alleged repeated abuse.