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January 25, 2012

Child Abuse Laws Negatively Affect Homeschoolers

By Rev. Haruto Yoshii

We are deeply appreciative of your prayers and support for Japanese home educators! The earthquake disaster of March 11, 2011 and the subsequent nuclear power plants accidents have proved to be a gigantic trial for all families in the affected areas, which include Christian homeschooling families. One example of the continued impact of the disaster is the case of a homeschool family in Chiba who was separated when the mother and children evacuated the area, but the father had to remain in the disaster area for business reasons.

Recent legal developments

Families at the 4oth AHSIC prayer meeting

Thankfully, home educators in Japan have thus far been immune from litigation. However, recent revisions to the Juvenile Law have strengthened child abuse reporting laws. There is now the possibility for neighbors of homeschool families to give notice to the Child Consultation Center (Zidoh-Sohdan-shyo in Japanese) that homeschooled children are abused by their parents. Regrettably, the Child Consultation Centers in each district are now required to investigate each and every abuse notice. Unsubstantiated abuse claims are expected to increase and to affect homeschool families adversely. Families anticipate much more contact with child welfare authorities in the coming months.

Homeschool gatherings

On November 3, 2011, AHSIC convened its 40th home educator’s prayer meeting. The meeting was held in Yoyogi, in the Tokyo area. Plans are currently underway for a homeschooling seminar scheduled for March 19-20 in Tokyo.

Prayer requests

  1. For the peace of Christ to be kept by homeschoolers, especially after the earthquake disaster and a nuclear plant accident;
  2. May home educators continually keep the testimony in their local churches;
  3. Blessing for the March 2012 homeschool seminar;
  4. May the Lord give AHSIC wisdom about planning a full-fledged homeschooling conference in near future!

Encouraging homeschool testimony

Shinya and Yukiko Kiritoh homeschool their two daughters (ages 15 and 13); Mr. Kiritoh is a worker at local welfare facilities and Mrs. Kiritoh is a pianist. At an annual revival meeting held recently at Kugayama Church in Tokyo, their daughters gave a wonderful testimony. It was a very happy time to hear that the family has healthy fellowship with other church members and is able to offer a stable example of homeschooling in the local church.

The Association of HomeSchoolers In Christ (AHSIC), one of the homeschool organizations in Japan, continues to closely support homeschoolers in the Kanto area, which is near the capital of Tokyo. In recent years, smaller homeschool groups have also started voluntarily in local towns. Local homeschoolers enjoy meeting together for activities, such as camping, and spending time together to for each other’s encouragement.

Rev. Haruto Yoshii is the Director of AHSIC (Association of HomeSchoolers In Christ).

 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Japan page.