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Child seats accepted in Okinawa but slowly

Date Posted: 2002-04-09

It’s been two years since child seats for children under six became mandatory in Japan, but many parents in Okinawa still do not use them, especially on short trips, an insurance association report says.

According to Japan Life Insurance Association survey, 73.5 percent of parents of small children have child seats in their cars, up 7.5 percent from a year before. But 43.5 percent of the parents say they do not use them regularly. As for reasons, most said that they do not think they are necessary on short trips for shopping, visiting friends or going to a park. Especially for small babies, cultural traditions make mothers to hold the baby on their lap. “Traditionally Japanese mothers hold their children close all the time, as this is considered to foster a good development of the baby, and many mothers believe that it is bad for the baby to be strapped on a child seat where he or she cannot feel the warmth of the mother,” a Japan Life Insurance Association spokeswoman said. “Parents should realize that mother’s lap is no protection in the case of an auto accident, and that accidents can happen even on shortest of trips,” she stated.

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