Cites increasing number of child abuse cases as reason parents need to be reined in.

Japan is, for the most part, a pretty non-violent society. It’s rare to see an argument turn physical in bars, clubs, schools, or any of the other places where people in many other countries often express dissenting opinions through their fists.

However, the Cabinet of Japan (which consists of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a number of other high-ranking ministers) feels that parents haven’t sufficiently accepted that violence isn’t the answer when disciplining their children. So on March 19, the Cabinet submitted a bill to the Diet (Japan’s national parliament) that would make it illegal for parents to enact corporal punishment on their children.

Abe says the proposal was prompted by a yearly increase in the number of reported cases of child abuse. “In order to prevent abuse, and to detect and deal with it more quickly when it is occurring, a serious of child-protection countermeasures must be enacted,” the prime minister declared.

In addition to making it illegal for parents to smack their kids when they get out of line, the proposal calls for the creation of additional Child Welfare Centers, requiring at least one in every city or ward with a population over 200,000 (the current requirement is only for those with populations over 500,000). These centers would be required to have a lawyer and medical professional on staff, in order to better diagnose child abuse and respond appropriately. The new law would also strengthen information-sharing protocols between child welfare services and police departments in a further effort to bolster their ability to spot abuse.

“I want us to take all steps to eradicate child abuse, and commit ourselves to protecting children,” said Abe, who is head of Japan’s liberal Democratic Party. Outside Abe’s own party, high-ranking members of the Komeito, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and Democratic Party for the People have also voiced support for the proposed amendment, which bodes well for its chances of ratification by the Diet. Should that come to pass, the new law would go into effect in April of 2020.

Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that regardless of what the final decision s regarding the Cabinet’s proposed criminalization of hitting your own kids when they’re acting up, hitting other people’s kids, regardless of how bratty they may get, is already illegal in Japan.

Source: NHK News Web via Hachima Kiko, Yahoo! Japan News/Jiji via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he seems to have turned out OK despite (or probably because of) his parents not hitting him when he was a kid.