Japan to Take Protective Custody of Abused Children "without Hesitation"
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Tokyo, Sept. 3 (Jiji Press)--Japanese welfare minister Takumi Nemoto at a press conference Tuesday stressed readiness to take into a temporary protective custody "without hesitation" children strongly suspected of being abused.
"We'd like to take necessary steps at an early date, such as conducting temporary protective custody without hesitation when the risk (of child abuse) is high," Nemoto said.
He indicated that such steps will be implemented based on a report by ministry officials on an on-site inspection into a case in which four-year-old Riara Otsuka died last week in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, after being hit by her mother's 21-year-old boyfriend, Shun Hiwatashi.
The central child consultation center of the southwestern prefecture had failed to meet the girl since April, when it asked the Satsumasendai city government to keep an eye on her and decided to try to interview her whenever any abnormality was reported by the city, informed sources said.
Riara and her mother moved from Satsumasendai to the neighboring city of Izumi in July. At the time, the Satsumasendai government informed the Izumi municipal government about suspected child neglect.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]