Japan

Japan became a pathfinding country in 2018. The Government of Japan has committed considerable resources to fighting violence against children, not just in its own country, but in countries throughout Asia.

2013

The Act for the Promotion of Measures to Prevent Bullying is passed along with the Basic Policy for Bullying Prevention. These acts are established to prevent and addressing the issue of bullying at the earliest stages.

2016

The outline for the Promotion of Development and Support for Children and Young People is approved. This policy includes a wide range of issue areas including education, welfare, health care, medical care, rehabilitation and employment. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare organizes a campaign against physical punishment, Ai no Muchi Zero Sakusen (Operation Zero Tough Love), with information on the adverse effects of physical punishment.

2017

In his statement to the High-level Political Forum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs reaffirms a commitment to ending violence against children by stating, “We will implement strong and holistic policies to tackle challenges like […] violence against children.”

2018

In February, Japan committs US$5.9 million to the Fund to End Violence Against Children to assist with projects in humanitarian settings. In April, the GPEVAC Forum Japan held a public seminar on the Solutions Summit with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNICEF. Approximately 90 participants attended the summit, from ministries, civil society organizations, academia, and the private sector. In May, Japan joins the Executive Board of the Global Partnership. It also becomes a pathfinding country, making a formal, public commitment to ending all forms of violence against children.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is the government focal point with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. The MoFA is engaged in interpreting and implementing international treaties and conventions in coordination with other ministries, including the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The MoFA has consulted with ministries in other sectors addressing violence against children. In December of 2018, the MoFA held a stakeholder meeting to launch a multi-stakeholder partnership and develop a national action plan. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Justice; the National Police Agency; the Cabinet Office; international and national NGOs; the United Nations system; the private sector; and independent experts.

Japan currently does not have a comprehensive and disaggregated national data collection mechanism related to violence against children at either the national or sub-national level. However, the government of Japan periodically collects data on population, health and safety, education, labor, delinquency and other problem behaviors, and compiles data related to children and adolescents in the White Paper on Children and Young People.

Japan's national priorities are: investing in childcare and education; drafting a National Plan of Action for children and adolescents, based on recommendations from the Convention on the Rights of the Child; preventing bullying; strengthening child welfare mechanisms; preventing and responding to child abuse; preventing child sexual exploitation and abuse; amending the civil and penal codes to the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and acceding to international treaties such as 2014 Hague Convention and the 2017 Protocol on Trafficking.

In 2016, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare organized a campaign against physical punishment, providing a leaflet titled Ai No Muchi Zero Sakusen (Operation Zero Tough Love) to governments for use at events attended by parents, such as health checks. The leaflet included information about the adverse effects of physical punishment from studies conducted in Japan and abroad.

The GPEVAC Japan Forum brought together nine key Japanese non-governmental organizations focused on SDG 16.2: end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. The Forum was extremely successful in their advocacy with the Japanese government, and was instrumental in Japan becoming a Pathfinding Country and contributing to the humanitarian pillar of the GP Fund.

In April 2018, the GPEVAC Japan Forum held a public seminar on the Solutions Summit together with the MOFA and UNICEF, with around 90 participants from ministries, civil society organizations, academia and the private sector. Save the Children Japan produced a Japanese translation of the booklet ‘Prohibiting Corporal Punishment: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.’ World Vision Japan, supported by the MoFA, is producing a research report on multi-stakeholder partnerships to end violence against children.

In 2019, End Violence and our partners are working to:

GROW DEMAND

  • By encouraging a revision of the register law to better accommodate issues of children with registry, stigma towards illegitimate children, and provision of paternity outside of marriage.
     
  • By enhancing the participation of children in the development of national policies and plans, as well as in the evaluation of services. 
     
  • By encouraging the enactment of laws that prohibit corporal punishment in the home, within alternative care settings, and at daycares and schools.

EQUIP PRACTITIONERS 

  • By creating a composite picture of violence against children and building research capacity. To do this, the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti and national partners are synthesizing existing data using the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children Methodology.