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Sagamihara child consultation center strip-searched girls

The Sagamihara Child Guidance Center
The Sagamihara Child Guidance Center

KANAGAWA (TR) – The government of Sagamihara City has issued an apology following revelations that staff members at a child consultation center conducted searches of nude girls over the summer, reports Nippon News Network (Dec. 14).

In August, two female staff members at the Sagamihara Child Guidance Center ordered eight girls in protective custody, aged between eight and 15, to strip off their clothing after a survey form had gone missing.

“It was an act that disregarded human rights,” said Satoshi Sato, chief of the city of Sagamihara’s Child Affairs Department, at a news conference on Monday, “and, through guidance provided to staff members, we will strive to prevent a re-occurrence.”

A policy exists at the guidance center about the children not exchanging personal information due to the youths often having troubled histories. In a past case, a girl at the center was found to have a piece of paper containing contact information for another child tucked into her underwear, according to the Mainichi Shimbun (Dec. 14).

In the case in August, it was believed that the missing survey form was also being used to share information. As a result, the female staff members ordered each girl to enter a bathroom and remove her clothes. Searches of their bodies and underwear were then conducted.

The form was never found.

The matter came to light when one of the girls reported the matter to another female staff member of the guidance center.