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From this article

日本では、スポーツの選手がコーチなどから暴力やパワーハラスメントを受ける問題が続きました
The problem of sportsmen receiving violence and harassment from coaches in Japan continued.

I don't understand why 続く is written in the past tense here. If you read the rest of the article there is no suggestion that the harassment has come to an end. I would have written 続いています.

When is it correct to use 続いた and why is it correct in this case?

Edit after @Ringil's comment: I'm familiar with the idea that た represents completion, and also with ている being a continuation of state. But when I apply these concepts to 続く I get confused. For example つづいている = "the state of continuing continues". This seems like a tautology. How does 続く differ from 続いている? How can we understand 続いた = "the continuing is complete"? Is this equivalent to もう続かない? Its sounds from @kandyman's comment that this is not the case. His translation of 'has continued' is more what I would think of as 続いてる i.e. we've done some continuing and the state still persists. I've got myself very confused.

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    I won't write this as a full reply, but using 続きました implies 'has continued' (despite the fact that ...). Using 続いています would be a statement of mere fact that it is continuing, but using 続きました implies that despite the issue being highlighted in recent scandals, it has still continued to happen. So I would translate the sentence with "has continued" rather than "continued". – kandyman Nov 11 '18 at 17:31
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    japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/42988/… is related – Ringil Nov 11 '18 at 18:07
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It's correct to express what happened as "happened". Past tense doesn't necessarily guarantee that something ceased.

In this example, it continues to 日本ユニセフは…考えた, which implies that the former is a trigger to the latter. So, using past tense is more cohesive to the next line.

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