Japanese parents and sports coaches need to stop hitting children
Nikkei -- Aug 02
The shocking revelations contained in the report "I Was Hit So Many Times I Can't Count," released by Human Rights Watch on July 20 exposing the abuse of child athletes in Japan, came as no surprise to those of us close to the world of Japanese sports administration.

Supported by meticulous interviews and questionnaire surveys from actual victims, the startling amount of detail collected by the report's authors make its findings impossible to ignore.

As Japan prepares to host the XXXII Olympiad, commonly known as Tokyo 2020, perhaps the report's most important conclusion is that the abuse of child athletes in Japan is fundamentally a human rights issue, and it must be addressed as such.

Up until now, the issue of corporal punishment in Japanese sports has followed a familiar pattern. First, a number of painful incidents come to light and are featured prominently by the media. Then, the so-called "fire extinguisher" approach is used to squelch the scandal.

Those responsible are removed from positions of influence; declarations of "zero tolerance" are made; special hotlines are set up to handle complaints. So why don't these actions lead to a fall in the number of abuse incidents?

The reality is that many coaches and parents in Japan regard corporal punishment as a necessary part of training, with no understanding that physical abuse can be detrimental to the future development of their children. The fact that so many great educators, who care deeply about the growth of children, still believe in the effectiveness of corporal punishment underscores how complex this problem is.

My hope is that with the HRW report receiving so much international attention, we can finally begin to make real progress.

The first thing Japan should do is follow HRW's recommendation to establish a Japan Center for Safe Sport, an independent body tasked solely with addressing child abuse in sport. Legislation enacted overseas, such as the Safe Sport Authorization Act in the U.S., as well as the United Kingdom's system of child protection, are important models that Japan should follow. Because hosting the Olympics means that Japan is interested in good sports governance, it should not be too difficult for the government to set up a mechanism by which child-athletes can report abuses without fear.

Takuya Yamazaki, a Japanese Attorney-at-Law, is the founder of Field-R Law Offices, a niche sports and entertainment legal practice based in Tokyo.

News source: Nikkei
Aug 09
Japan is Asia's first industrialised economy, yet it ranks 121, below Angola on the Gender Gap Index. (CNA)
Aug 08
Teachers and education officials are calling for students to pay special heed to the risk of heat exhaustion this summer as schools across Japan shorten their summer holidays and hold more classes than usual to make up for closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
Aug 06
The population of Japan has fallen for the 11th straight year. The amount of the decline has set a record for six years in a row. (NHK)
Aug 05
NHK will reduce the number of its satellite television channels from the current four to two. The public broadcaster announced Tuesday it also plans to consolidate its two AM radio channels into one. (Japan Times)
Aug 05
The government said Tuesday it has been allowing the entry of foreign nationals teaching at international schools and their families as exceptions to the travel ban imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
Aug 04
The Ministry of Justice will update the English translations of Japan's business-related laws and regulations. (Nikkei)
Aug 04
Students in Japan are having a much shorter summer break this year to make up for classes that were cancelled in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Aug 03
Data compiled by Japan's welfare ministry shows the proportion of male workers who took paternity leave in 2019 edged up from the previous year but still remained low. (NHK)
Aug 02
The shocking revelations contained in the report "I Was Hit So Many Times I Can't Count," released by Human Rights Watch on July 20 exposing the abuse of child athletes in Japan, came as no surprise to those of us close to the world of Japanese sports administration. (Nikkei)
Aug 02
Popular YouTube channel and website The Black Experience Japan features interviews with dozens of black residents of Japan. (globalvoices.org)
Jul 31
Japanese women and men retained second and third places, respectively, on the world's average life expectancy ranking in 2019 as both groups topped a previous record for the eighth straight year, health ministry data showed Friday. (Kyodo)
Jul 31
An adviser for a health division at Minato Ward this week provided guidance to bar hostesses in the Roppongi entertainment quarter about how to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, reports TBS News (July 27). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jul 31
Single bananas. Hard boiled eggs. Chocolate chip cookies. In convenience stores across Japan these items all have something in common: they are routinely sold tightly swaddled in plastic wrapping. (CNN)
Jul 27
The health ministry will conduct its first nationwide survey, possibly as early as next month, to look into how the coronavirus pandemic has affected mental health, according to ministry and other sources. (Japan Times)
Jul 26
Many schools across Japan resumed classes in mid-June after a months-long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers are scrambling to get their programs back on track with new educational methods that are both safe and effective. (NHK)
Jul 24
Against the backdrop of mounting tensions between Western nations and China, Japan is taking new steps to safeguard its own advanced research, including tightening the screening of foreign students and researchers to prevent leaks to foreign countries of advanced technologies, particularly those with possible military applications. Visas for foreign researchers will be more closely reviewed. (universityworldnews.com)
Jul 23
Using Twitter in Japan just got a lot more complicated. The country’s Supreme Court has ruled that users who retweet copyright-infringing images can have their details passed onto rightsholders — whether they knew the pic was in violation or not. (thenextweb.com)
Jul 23
Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have been briefed on efforts to support children living in poverty amid the new coronavirus outbreak. (NHK)
Jul 23
Japan will begin granting re-entry to foreign residents who have been locked out of the country for months by a travel ban aimed at limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Jul 23
Ever since 1954, kyushoku (school lunch) has been an official part of the Japanese school curriculum. (Life Where I'm From)