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In One of the World’s Richest Countries, Most Single Mothers Live in Poverty

How the taboo of single mothers created an underclass of abused children.

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The beating of a 4-year-old boy on Christmas Eve went on through the night. Covered with bruises and having suffered catastrophic internal bleeding, he was pronounced dead at a hospital. Soon after, his mother and her two boyfriends were arrested.

While the news of the child’s death sparked outrage and horror in Japan’s media, Orie Ikeda, a single mother of two, says she can understand how such a brutal assault occurred in Minoh, the affluent dormitory town near where she lives.