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A View from the School Health Center: Supporting Japanese Children’s Physical and Mental Well-BeingAkiyama Chika

Japan’s yōgo (health education) teachers combine the roles of nurse and counselor, providing medical and psychological care for children in elementary and junior high schools across Japan. This article presents a day in the life of a yōgo teacher at an elementary school health center.

Family Matters: Promoting Special Adoptions in Japan for the Good of ChildrenMiura Naomi

The Japanese government is looking to address rising incidents of child abuse by increasing use of the so-called special adoption system for young children. A new law to go into effect in April 2018 will promote adoptions and closer regulation of private adoption services. Authorities and experts are discussing changes to existing laws concerning adoption but it is essential to bolster social work for the system to function in the best way possible.

Preserved Bodies of Babies Discovered at Tokyo House (News)

Tokyo, March 12 (Jiji Press)—Dead bodies apparently of unborn babies preserved in formalin have been found under the floor of a private house in Tokyo, police sources said Monday. The Metropolitan Police Department does not view this as a criminal case. Obstetric and gynecological specialists used to live in the vacant house on sale. Seven such bodies were found in six of the 16 bottles foun…

Habu Sachiko: Balancing Work and Family Is Not an Issue for Women Only

Website Nikkei Dual offers a range of information for working parents, including hints for daycare hunting, advice for school entrance exams, quick recipes, and seminars on work-life balance. recently sat down with editor-in-chief Habu Sachiko, who shared the site’s approach to helping people balance their home and work lives.

Kumamoto’s “Baby Post” and the Right to Know One’s ParentsMorimoto Nobuyo

Since the “Stork’s Cradle” baby hatch was established at Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto 10 years ago, 130 children have been left there by parents who felt they could not raise the infants on their own. A journalist who has closely followed the story casts doubt on the claim that the hatch has been a lifesaver for unwanted children and points out that it violates the child’s right to know one’s biological parents.

Nursery Waiting Lists in Japan Grow for Third Year (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 1 (Jiji Press)—The number of children waiting to enter nursery schools in Japan as of April 1 increased by 2,528 from a year before to 26,081, growing for the third straight year, the welfare ministry said Friday. The increase is believed to reflect a revision of the definition of such children, ministry officials said. Nursery schools were in short supply amid faster-than-expected…

A Third of Mothers Neglected Prenatal Checkups in Child Abuse Death Cases (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)--An experts' panel investigating fatal child abuse cases in Japan in fiscal 2015 reported Thursday that over 30% of the mothers of the dead children did not receive checkups during their pregnancies. Finding mothers who need support while they are still pregnant is widely seen as a key to preventing child abuse. But Kansai University Professor Yamagata Fumiharu, …

Japan Lifts Target of Company-Run Nursery Capacity to 70,000 (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government aims to increase the combined capacity of company-led nurseries to some 70,000 children before fiscal 2017 ends next March, up from the initially targeted 50,000, Matsuyama Masaji, minister for measures to address the declining birthrate, said Tuesday. The move is part of the government's efforts to achieve its goal of eliminating the nursery …

Bawling Babies Battle in “Crying Sumō” Festival (Japan in Photos)

Babies take part in a nakizumō or “crying sumō” festival in the Tomioka Hachimangū shrine in Yokohama on July 17, 2017. Around 60 tiny combatants participated in the event, which entreated for their healthy growth through the full-lunged bawling of the junior athletes. Each was given a rikishi name and wore a paper helmet and decorative mawashi loincloth. (© Jiji)

Japan’s Poverty Rate Remains Well above OECD Average (News)

Tokyo, June 27 (Jiji Press)--Japan's relative poverty rate in 2015 fell slightly from the previous 2012 survey, but remained well above the average for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member economies, a government survey showed Tuesday. The relative poverty rate, which measures the proportion of people with a disposable income of less than half of the median income of the…

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