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Debates on Child Abuse Lackluster despite Campaign Pledges

Debates on Child Abuse Lackluster despite Campaign Pledges

   Tokyo, July 17 (Jiji Press)--Debates on how to root out child abuse remain off the political radar just days before Sunday's House of Councillors election, despite campaign pledges by ruling and opposition parties to protect children from abuse.
   In the wake of a series of fatal incidents, politics has a big role to play in protecting children's lives, such as by reinforcing child consultation centers, experts say.
   Administrative officials for child abuse and related affairs say that the whole of Japanese society should spend more time and money on children.
   Last month, an abused two-year-old girl starved to death in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The incident laid bare a lack of cooperation among related organizations, including child consultation centers and police.
   "Even if the topic is on a list of election pledges, I do not have the impression that discussions are heating up," said a Hokkaido government official handling child abuse affairs.

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