Committee on the Rights of the Child: Japan

Session 054 (2010)

(20 June 2010, CRC/C/JPN/CO/3, Concluding observations on third report, paras. 7, 8, 47, 48, 56 and 57)

"The Committee welcomes the efforts made by the State party to address some of the concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.231) made upon consideration of the State party’s second report (CRC/C/104/Add.2) in February 2004, but regrets that a number of them have not been fully implemented or have not been addressed at all. The Committee reiterates those concerns and recommendations in the present document.

"The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address the recommendations it made in its concluding observations on the second periodic report which have not yet been implemented (including those contained in … paragraph 35 on corporal punishment …) and to comprehensively address the concerns contained in the present concluding observations.

"While noting the explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in schools, the Committee expresses concern at reports that the prohibition is not effectively implemented. The Committee notes with concern the ambiguous ruling of the Tokyo High Court in 1981 which refrained from prohibiting all physical punishment. Furthermore, it is concerned that corporal punishment in the home and in alternative care settings is not expressly prohibited by law and that the Civil Code and the Child Abuse Prevention Law, particularly, allow the use of appropriate discipline and are unclear as to the admissibility of corporal punishment.

"The Committee strongly recommends that the State party:

a) explicitly prohibit corporal punishment and all forms of degrading treatment of children in all settings by law, including the home and alternative care settings;

b) effectively implement the ban on corporal punishment in all settings;

c) undertake communications programmes, including campaigns, to educate families, teachers, and other professionals working with and for children on alternative, non-violent forms of discipline.

"The Committee welcomes measures such as amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention Law and the Child Welfare Law, which provide and enforce mechanisms for the prevention of abuse. The Committee remains concerned, however, that the notion of ‘parental authority’ giving the right to exercise ‘comprehensive control’ in the Civil Code as well as undue parental expectations, puts children at risk of violence at home. It notes with concern that the incidence of child abuse continues to rise.

"The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen current efforts to address the problem of child abuse, including by:

a) conducting public education programmes about the negative consequences of abuse and neglect and preventive programmes, including family development programmes, promoting positive, non-violent forms of discipline…."

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Session 035 (2004)

(26 February 2004, CRC/C/15/Add.231, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 35 and 36)

"The Committee notes with concern that corporal punishment, although legally prohibited in schools, is widely practised in schools, institutions and the family.

"The Committee recommends that the State party:

a) prohibit corporal punishment in institutions and the home;

b) carry out public education campaigns about the negative consequences of ill-treatment of children in order to change attitudes towards corporal punishment, and promote positive, non-violent forms of discipline in schools, institutions and at home as an alternative to such punishment;

c) strengthen complaints mechanisms for children in institutions and schools to ensure that they deal with complaints of ill-treatment effectively and in a child-sensitive manner."

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Session 018 (1998)

(5 June 1998, CRC/C/15/Add.90, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 24 and 45)

"The Committee is concerned at the frequency and level of violence in schools, especially the widespread use of corporal punishment and the existence of numerous cases of bullying among students. While legislation prohibiting corporal punishment and such measures as hot lines for victims of bullying do exist, the Committee notes with concern that current measures have been insufficient to prevent school violence.

"In light of, inter alia, articles 3, 19 and 28.2 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that a comprehensive programme be devised and its implementation closely monitored in order to prevent violence in schools, especially with a view to eliminating corporal punishment and bullying. Additionally, it recommends that corporal punishment be prohibited by law in the family and in child-care and other institutions. The Committee also recommends that awareness-raising campaigns be conducted to ensure that alternative forms of discipline are administered in a manner consistent with the child’s human dignity and in conformity with the Convention."

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