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
Oct 23
Bullying cases recognized by elementary, junior high, high and special-needs schools in Japan in fiscal 2019 grew by some 60,000 from the previous year to a record 612,496, the education ministry said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Oct 23
When the COVID-19 pandemic decimated her family’s cattle farming business in Vietnam earlier this year, one 23-year-old foreign student who had spent around 18 months in Japan was soon left without the funds her family usually sent to cover her university tuition fees. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
Japan's health ministry has suggested that many women in the country may have opted out of pregnancy due to the coronavirus epidemic. (NHK)
Oct 19
Boys and girls in Japan in 2019 had lower athletic ability than their counterparts in 1964, when the previous Tokyo Olympics were held, an annual government survey showed Sunday. (Japan Times)
Oct 19
A collection of newspaper comic strips by the late Japanese manga creator Osamu Tezuka featuring handwritten dialogue as well as previously unreleased works will be published as a set of books in November. (Kyodok)
Oct 19
Have you ever eaten Sushi roll? I think it’s popular Japanese food in overseas, how about it? At the end of the video, there is a tip on how to cut sushi rolls well, so watch it till the end! (Kimono Mom)
Oct 19
This time we'll learn how to say "Good luck!", "Break a leg", "I'm supporting you", "I got your back!" in many different ways. (Japanese Ammo with Misa)
Oct 18
Tokai University, a four-time Japanese national university baseball champion, said Saturday it has suspended all activities of its baseball club indefinitely due to illegal drug use by several members. (Kyodo)
Oct 18
(newsonjapan.com)
Oct 17
Previously, today is the day we have moon viewing called Tsukimi in Japan, and I was planning to make dumplings with my daughter, Sutan. (Kimono Mom)
Oct 16
An expert panel has basically approved anti-infection measures to be taken for next year's standardized university entrance exams in Japan, which would take place amid the pandemic. (NHK)
Oct 15
Japan's education ministry has requested national universities and other official institutions to join the central government in mourning for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone during his state memorial service this weekend, school officials said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Oct 15
A survey of schools in Japan shows that more than 10 percent of them had students who were absent to prevent coronavirus infection. (NHK)
Oct 14
Japan plans to sharply cut the inheritance tax bills for highly skilled overseas professionals working in Japan, Nikkei has learned, as part of a broader scheme to nurture the country's status as a global financial center. (Nikkei)
Oct 12
The number of suicides rose in Japan in August due to more women and school-aged children taking their own lives — offering a first glimpse into the consequences of the mental health strain brought about by COVID-19 around the globe. (Japan Times)
Oct 12
Tokyo on Sunday opened its first major community hub for LGBTQ people this month, part of a pre-Olympics project that campaigners hope will tackle stigma and raise awareness of discrimination. (Japan Today)
Oct 12
Japan's health ministry is conducting an online survey to find out how the coronavirus is affecting mental health. (NHK)
Oct 10
The University of Tokyo is planning to issue its first bond, amid dwindling government grants and subsidies. (NHK)
Oct 10
A survey in Japan has found that many children's sleep patterns have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. (NHK)
Oct 10
As the fall semester kicked off, universities in Tokyo and the surrounding area, where daily new COVID-19 cases are still relatively high, have been slow in shifting to physical classes. (Japan Times)