KITAMI, Hokkaido employees at a welfare facility housing people with intellectual disabilities in Hokkaido, was found to have committed 38 cases of abuse, including leaving residents naked, the Mainichi Shimbun found on December 6.
The municipality of Nishiokoppe, Hokkaido, has 38 cases of physical and psychological abuse between May and June of this year, according to the Seiryu no Sato facility.
The facility held a briefing session for the residents' families on December 4, where it reported abuse and apologized for it. Seiryu no Sato plans to establish a abuse verification committee to examine measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents.
Seiryu no Sato is run by Nishiokokoppe Fukushi-kai, a social welfare corporation. It is currently home to 27 men and 12 women with intellectual disabilities.
According to the village and the Hokkaido Prefectural GovernmentHokkaido Prefectural Government, there was a report in June that abuse was taking place at the facility, which led to interviews with staff and confirmation of security camera footage. Between May 17 and June 22 six male staff members abused 13 male residents by holding them naked in a common area of the facility for long periods of time, holding them in the back of the neck, looking menacingly at them for long periods of time, and so on. The staff members who allegedly committed the abuse admitted to the allegations.
Hiroyuki Kikukawa, director of the facility, said at the briefing session, I deeply apologize for the inappropriate support and abuse that took place. By the end of the year, the facility will establish a verification committee, including third parties from outside the facility, such as lawyers and academic experts.
A village official said, "We hope that the facility will consider improvement measures and engage in appropriate management." The prefectural government will issue administrative guidance to the operating corporation by the end of the month in order to seek improvements and prevent recurrences.