Police records show that there were 18,236 reported cases of domestic violence in Japan last year, making it the highest recorded number ever. This is up 8% from 2005, and 99% of the victims were female. But the most surprising thing about this piece of news is that domestic violence wasn’t officially monitored before 2002. So even though we say 2006 was the "highest," this is only relevant to the last 4 years.
This is my own presumption, but I don’t think this higher number necessarily indicates that domestic violence is occurring more frequently. If anything, it may have more to do with women feeling that it’s okay to report their fist-happy hubbies to the cops. Especially with the new divorce law kicking in on April 1st, women are going to be complaining–officially–a lot more in the coming years.