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Japan’s Daycare Waiting Lists Below 20,000 for First Time in 10 Years

The number of children on waiting lists for daycare facilities in Japan has dipped under 20,000 as of April 2018—the first time in 10 years. But the government’s goal of matching all children with care services remains elusive.
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More than Just Monsters: The Social Factors Behind Parental Child Abuse in JapanSugiyama Haru

When a five-year-old girl died from parental abuse earlier this year, the heart-rending note she left behind mobilized public sympathy and stirred the government to pass a raft of emergency measures. But if we truly want to get to the root of the problem, we need to understand the social factors that sometimes drive young parents to neglect and abuse their own children.
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The Rot at the Heart of Japan’s Student ClubsUchida Ryō

Japanese national curriculum guidelines stipulate that student participation in extracurricular activities must be independent and voluntary. The reality, however, appears to be one of coerced “independence,” robbing students of opportunities to think for themselves. This essay considers the Nihon University American football club’s flagrant penalty in the light of the current state of junior high and high school student clubs.
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Japanese Parents Want More Children: Cost the Main Factor Holding Them Back

Despite Japan’s declining birthrate, a recent survey shows that around 70% of new parents would like more children.
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New Organization Takes On Unreasonable Rules in Japan’s Schools

An Osaka court case featuring a girl suing her school for insisting she dye her naturally brown hair black has drawn attention to irrational school rules in Japan. A new group is examining the problems in a search for solutions to draconian rules to reduce stress for both students and teachers.
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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.
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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.
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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…
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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. Nippon.com recently sat down with editor-in-chief Habu Sachiko, who shared the site’s approach to helping people balance their home and work lives.
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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.
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