2 boys sent to prosecutors over Shiga student's suicide


Shiga prefectural police on Thursday sent to prosecutors two 15-year-old boys accused of bullying a 13-year-old boy who killed himself in October 2011. A third boy, who was 13 at the time, was sent to a child welfare center. The other two were 14 at the time of the incident.

It is rare for police to send minors to prosecutors instead of a family court. But this case gained national media attention during the summer and put the spotlight on bullying in schools.

Since August, police have questioned more than 300 boys, their classmates, parents and teachers at the school in Otsu. Two of the three boys denied bullying the victim and said they were only fooling around, Fuji TV reported.

Police have also been trying to find out the extent of the bullying and to clarify what the school did in response to two questionnaires it gave to students in October and November of 2011 after the boy committed suicide.

At first, the school maintained that it did not think bullying was the cause of the death. However, in July, school officials and the Otsu Board of Education reversed their stance and conceded that bullying most likely drove the boy to leap to his death from a building on Oct 11, 2011.

In the questionnaires, the victim's classmates said that the three bullies routinely forced him to “practice” killing himself. According to the answers, they punched the boy in the toilet, forced him to eat dead bees, pulled down his pants and taped his mouth.

The police refused to do anything last year after the father complained. In February, the boy's father filed a criminal complaint with the police, charging the boys with assault, extortion and theft. He has also filed a damages suit against the city.

The suicide sparked a series of bomb threats against the school and the local government over claims of negligence in the case.

The boy's father told a news conference on Thursday that he is glad action has finally been taken against the bullies because his son can no longer speak for himself.

© Japan Today

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Looks like a case of bullying the bullies.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

when i first read about this bullying case i thought it was disgusting - the students, the teachers, the school board - just disgusting. thanks be to the heavens for finally starting to bring some justice. this kid of crap goes on without consequences - there NEEDS to be consequences.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

This looks nothing like bullying the bullies; rather, it looks like justice is being sought. It looks like the police have taken the time to investigate the boy's death and the events leading up to it quite thoroughly, and are convinced that there is a strong case for prosecuting the boys. If the boys had admitted to their cruel behaviour, they probably would be treated more leniently. They continue to deny doing anything wrong, despite eye witnesses who speak to the contrary. They should be prosecuted.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The police here would not have sent the case to the prosecutors office if they did not have compelling evidence to have a suspect charged. By sending them to the prosecutors office and not family court, sounds like they may attempt to have them tried as adults. (I hope)

Just have to wait and see what the conclusion the prosecutors come up with.

About damn time too!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

While I applaud the (unusual) action, the explanation is in the details: >...this case gained national media attention...

Not a thing would have happened if this would not have been pushed hard by the father and eventually the media. And so, these boys are being prosecuted? For what? Manslaughter? Even though they might have been indirectly responsible for this boy's suicide, they are not adults and I hope they are not tried as such just because this became a big case. Instead, I wish Japan would wake up and realize that this thing is going on, big time, every day all over the country with their laughable senpai/kohai morals. As long as Japan believes in these things, nothing will ever truly change and then, one single case doesn't really matter.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

every day all over the country with their laughable senpai/kohai morals.

Laughable? Sorry I disagree, when it works right the relationship between an elder and younger lasts a lifetime and is more like a mentor and counselor than something evil.

Dont know the facts but I would be willing to say that in the majority of cases it works, it's just the bad one's that make the news.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

..hence the need for MEDIA attention and stated in the article

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree very much that much more needs to be done about bullying in schools, and I heartily agree that these boys should be severely punished for their crime.

HOWEVER ... I do worry that these boys are being made scapegoats. That after they have been prosecuted, all will go on like before, and all the other bullies in Japan will go back to their bullying ways. Making an example of someone is all well and good, but if its ONLY these 2 in the whole country who will ever face jail time for driving a co-student to death, the other bullies of Japan will have nothing to fear.

I also worry that the schools will get off scot-free while these boys take 100% of the rap. The school should be held accountable as well, as should the parents of these horrible boys.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

More ruined kids and and more ruined families.


They are the ones that should be prosecuted for letting this occur.

We place our trust in you to manage the most precious thing we have - OUR CHILDREN!

SHAME ON YOU! - You are a disgrace.

2 ( +5 / -4 )

pulling down his pants is a degree of rape and making him eat dead animals I am sure is illegal, punching him is assault. Doesn't matter if they made him kill himself or not. They should be punished for all the things we know they did already.

5 ( +8 / -4 )

Yeah, but! The way the law is in Japan, if these little thugs are found to be guilty of assault or anything it else it will be the parents that are penalized, not the thugs. I would like to see these young goons doing community service for the next ten years on weekends and after school. As it is now, they will get a warning and the parents will get a fine and that is all!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As it is now, they will get a warning and the parents will get a fine and that is all!

Huh? The case has been sent to the prosecutors office, meaning that there is evidence that a crime occurred. More than a warning is awaiting them IF the prosecutors decide to take it to trial.

If tried as adults they are looking at a minimum of a few years behind bars. If tried as juveniles, incarcerated until they "become of age" at least.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They need to be put behind bars. Teach these little b**s a lesson and send a message to all the other bullies out there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why are there posters here about the bullies, instead of posting something to improve the bully situation, just comment unintelligently. Geeezzz

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I am sorry for the boy that died, and for all the boys involved. Sadly this really needed to be addressed and it finally has been ..with full impact and hopefully it will serve to give other victims courage. I was bullied myself in school and even tho my father tried to encourage me, i was too scared to really do much about it. It took another fifty years before i stood up for myself in life as an adult. So this was a very valuable step for the culture and for the people involved. I have great respect for the father and for the police. Thank you for covering it with such a good article with all the relevant information.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

pulling down his pants is a degree of rape

@ rys2sense - While I agree with your overall post, pulling someones pants down does not constitute rape in any shape or form. Rape is a violent and heinous act, please don't trivialize it by equating it to a school house prank...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My son is dealing with racist bullies who keep telling him his face is "omoshirio," because, even though he looks half Asian, he doesn't look like a Japanese person. We told the school staff about it & they won't do anything about it. So, now my son has had enough. He is taller, or just as tall as some of the older kids who try to bully him, so now, when they insult him he lays into them & punches them. Now, the school stafff wants to express concern about my son punching these kids. It's total B.S.! If they would stop the kids from insulting my son for racist reasons, then my son won't have to punch them. Bullies won't stop, unless someone else stops them, either staff, parents, or the kids being bullied. I fully support my son defending himself, when nobody else will.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Mark Elrod totally agree with you Mark, my son is also half, and when he is older Ill also tell him to defend himself if/when he also has a similar problem. If teachers other parents wont do anything to stop it then Ill be there supporting my son when/if he has the same problems. Violence is always a last resort but if no help is forthcoming then I say bring it on! Had a bully problem when I was in school around 15years old, went on until one day I snapped and gave him everything he deserved, Never had a bully problem again after that! LOL

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@mark elrod another thing worth trying if the problem persists is tell the teacher/principle that if the bullying doesnt stop youll file a complaint with the Education Board, stuff will get done then believe me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mark Elrod

They are bullying him because he is different and thats all, good for him to stand up to them, but you could help, when we lived in Japan one of the kids at my son's school was picking on him, I let all the kids know that I wanted to know where the boy was, the school even rang me to find out why I wanted to see him, I told them if he stops bullying my son I have no reason to see him. He stopped and that was that. I would never have hurt him because he was still a child, but he didn't know that and the other kids never knew that either. These poor kids all over the world who take their own lives miss out on the rest of their lives, it is one of the worst crimes of society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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