A 5-year-old girl died in Tokyo after being abused by her parents. She had left a note that said, "I will try to be able to do it a lot better on my own from today even if Mama and Papa do not tell me to do so. Please forgive me! Forgive me, please!" Her note has been made public and many people are calling on the government to take action to prevent child abuse by tweeting hashtag messages that translate as "This is not other people's affairs" and "I will not support any lawmaker who does not tackle the problem of child abuse."

The Japan Pediatric Society estimates that about 350 children die a year due to child abuse — or about one child a day. Why could we not prevent the death of that girl? This is a problem peculiar to Japan — that many Japanese have a weak sense of children's rights.

The girl's tragic death was not averted even though she had earlier been taken into protective custody twice over suspected abuse. This has reportedly led to a flood of complaints against the child welfare center that handled her family after they had recently moved to Tokyo. But criticizing the center will be of no use. Such centers are already pushed to the limit and run on a bare minimum budget and low manpower.