This year Japan was shaken by a high profile child abuse incident. Despite being on the radar of the authorities, a five-year old girl, Yua Funato, died after being abused and neglected by her parents.

The case exposed the many shortcomings of Japan’s child welfare system, and the government pledged to do more to prevent such tragedies, including upping staff numbers and building more child counselling centres.

A new child counselling centre was announced to be built in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo. But surprisingly, at a town meeting to explain the plans, many residents voiced disapproval at the decision to build the centre.

Aoyama is known as an upmarket and stylish area in a very central Tokyo location and the cost of living there is high. It seems some inhabitants hold the questionable belief that the new centre will decrease the value of the area. In footage from the discussion, one residents asks,

‘But why? Why in Minami Aoyama?’

Several people echoed the sentiment. One particularly snooty person is quoted as saying,

‘Minami Aoyama is a well-off area, the schools are high quality, there’s lots of high achieving children. Won’t the children who go to the facility feel bad (coming here)?’

Somehow, it’s hard to believe these comments come from genuine concern for the children…

Possibly the most pretentious of all the dissenting voices are the people who claimed the centre would affect Minami Aoyama’s ‘brand image’,

‘Protect Minami Aoyama’s brand image. We don’t want the value of property to decrease.’

Not to tar all residents of Minami Aoyama with the same brush, there were also participants of the meeting who were completely in favour of the new centre.

After the ‘brand image’ comments made it into the Japanese news, the condemnation from many of the Japanese public was swift, going as far as calling these people ‘selfish’. Many of the angry comments online directed at the less-than-welcoming Aoyama residents noted that while these people are rich money-wise, when it comes to empathy, they’re pretty broke.

'Your brand image isn't being lowered by a child consultation centre, but by yourselves!'

By - Jess.