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Tragic cases of fatal abuse of children by their parents continue to be reported. In response, an amended law to prevent child abuse, enacted in the latest regular Diet session, will take effect in April to beef up the functions of child welfare centers across the country to intervene in suspected abuse of children. In the July Upper House election, most of the parties cited greater efforts to eradicate child abuse, including revamping the child welfare centers, in their campaign promises.

After the death of a 5-year-old girl in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, last year due to repeated abuse at the hands of her parents, the government decided to increase the number of child welfare officers — experts stationed at the welfare centers that advise, guide and support both the abused children and their guardians — by some 2,000 by 2022, with half of the increase to be carried out during the current fiscal year.

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