A panel commissioned by the welfare ministry to look into a harrowing case of fatal child abuse faulted welfare officials for not being on the ball and preventing the tragedy.

The death of 5-year-old Yua Funato drew extensive media coverage after it emerged she kept a notebook begging for her parents' love and their forgiveness.

Yua was subjected to a near-starvation diet as well as beatings. The soles of her feet bore traces of frostbite.

Her stepfather and mother were arrested on suspicion of abandoning their parental responsibility resulting in her death last March in Tokyo's Meguro Ward.

The panel's report, compiled on Oct. 3, cited 10 problem areas among the child welfare centers and local government offices that were supposed to oversee Yua and her parents.

It said a number of offices were way too lax in putting out the word that Yua was desperately in need of close supervision by government workers.

The panel questioned staff at child welfare centers in Kagawa Prefecture as well as Tokyo, where the Funatos moved to early this year. Local government officials were also asked about how information about Yua was passed on from Kagawa to Tokyo.

The report faulted the child welfare center in Kagawa for failing to conclude that Yua faced a high danger of abuse. Center officials were informed by local medical institutions about injuries that Yua suffered at the hands of her stepfather as well as the child's own insistence that she did not want to go home.

The child welfare center was also blamed for failing to create an assessment sheet that would normally serve as the basis for judging if the child should be placed in temporary custody for her safety.

Kagawa officials were also faulted for the manner in which they passed on information to Tokyo officials in connection with Yua's case. The document compiled by Kagawa officials did not contain specific information about the abuse Yua had suffered, such as photos taken of her injuries, or other characteristics of the case, including background information related to the parents.

The panel concluded that the gist of the documents was unclear and that conversations over the phone to provide additional information were also insufficient.

Officials involved in the case said the distance between Kagawa and Tokyo hampered their efforts to directly convey vital details about the case.

The panel said the danger Yua faced was not adequately transmitted through the phone conversations and documents sent to Tokyo.

Among the problems pointed out was a failure by child welfare officials in Tokyo to consider that the level of abuse might spike due to a deteriorating family environment brought on by the move from Kagawa to Tokyo.

After the family moved to Tokyo, officials of the local child welfare center and local ward office twice visited the Funato residence, but were blocked from meeting Yua.

The panel report faulted Tokyo child welfare center officials for not realizing they faced a critical and emergency situation. It noted that they had not been able to assess Yua's well-being as her mother had twice refused officials access to her daughter.

The panel said Yua died before officials could confirm the danger she was in.