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13-year-old boy jumps to death from tower in Niigata

27 Comments

A 13-year-old boy apparently jumped to his death from a communications tower in a field in Gosen, Niigata Prefecture, on Monday morning.

According to police, the boy's body was found below at the 30-meter-high tower at around 7:30 a.m. NTV reported that the boy was confirmed dead at the scene. Police believed he climbed up a ladder on the side of the tower.

According to the boy's school, he had not attended school since the third semester began. On Friday, a school official visited the boy at his home to see if everything was OK and if he would be attending Monday's school opening ceremony. The boy said he was fine, the school said.

The boy's family reported him missing on Sunday afternoon.

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27 Comments
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Sad

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bullying problem again?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, he said he was fine. Huh. I'm not going to assume no follow-up was planned or that little or nothing was done prior to that last meeting, but still it came to this. "The boy said he was fine" is a sad epitaph not just for him but for everyone involved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another statistic that should have been prevented.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

RIP, poor boy. I loved life at 13. This is very sad.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Commodore: Well said. Without knowing any details, it seems like the school took minimal action just to cover their butts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It sure seems like it, at least in Japan.

What are you basing that on?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I was certainly not suicidal or even depressed at 13.

I have gone through bouts of depression in my adult life, but I suppose that is to be expected.

I can't imagine what sort of situation would cause suicidal depression in a 13-year-old.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Very sad and condolences to the family. BTW, there is no such thing as a third as a semester is 1/2 of one year.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

BTW, there is no such thing as a third as a semester is 1/2 of one year.

My university had three semesters per year.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

My university had three semesters per year. Strangerland; your university had weird calendars of 18 months/year; semester comes from the Latin semestris, or "six-months" or "half-yearly."

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I'm sure it did. That doesn't change the fact that we had three semesters per year at my university. You'd have to take it up with them, I just went there, I didn't make it that way.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

My university has three semesters as well. Fall (August-December), spring (January-May), summer (May-July). The summer semester makes up for the shorter length by offering several different formats and classroom weekly minutes schedules, short term, through term and extended term.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Its easy to blame bullying, and that is even the preferred option for Japanese society at large because it puts blame on a few bad kids, and not the government, the school system, the teachers, or the parents.

Fact is this society places way too much pressure on young people in certain areas and grinds them down in unnecessary and hyper-reactive ways. I have seen and heard teachers berate students for over an hour for things that were not nearly such a big deal. I sometimes wanted to tell teachers that the students were not there for their own personal stress relief. And not even to say their stress was not valid; it was. But there again is the problem with the school system and Japanese society at large.

Bullying plays a part sure. But its being made a scapegoat for Japan's larger failings.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese public schools have three terms per school year. I guess they would properly be called trimesters. The third term begins in January so this student had not attended school for three months. Because the article is so short and lacks details, it is easy to assume that nothing was done between January and last Friday. However, I am sure that the homeroom teacher, school counselor and other school officials were in contact with him and/or his parents. Also since he was 13, he would have been entering his second year of junior high school so he wasn't between schools. That being said, it is incredibly sad that no one was able to help this boy solve his problems.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I looked at my university home page, and they call them 'sessions' now. But when I went there (more than 20 years ago), they were called semesters.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The tragedy of a young person dying because of overwhelming hopelessness or frustration is devastating to a family, friends, and community. The kinds of problems teenagers face is very real to the teen that are facing them. If a teen is facing a problem and has nobody to talk to they may feel neglected, unwanted, and alone. Unfortunately suicide is a common or normal approach to solving seemingly impossible problems. Whatever the reason may be for a teen taking his life is never an acceptable one. In the end teen suicides could have been prevented if the lines of communication were open between a teen and someone who cared about them. It's so sad when a teen commits suicide.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Man, something needs to be done to prevent such tragedies. Rest in Peace my friend :'(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How do we know he didn't accidentally fall?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Frightening that so many people here come to some sort of conclusion regarding bullying; irresponsible parents; irresponsible school authorities from an article that purely states the facts of a young man's suicide precluding any suggestion of the reason. Power of the media or mass ignorance?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

May he rest in peace. Bullying has to be stopped in schools. Parents should get more involved with their children in school. Because unfortunately kids won't talk about their problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting. Seems to be a consistent tone of sympathy and empathy for this young person at news of his suicide, and yet when we hear stories of adults who do the same thing these boards at JT are often filled with comments about 'selfishness', a 'lack of consideration', 'cowardice' etc.

Why the double standard towards suicide between children and adults? Surely all are tragedies?

I'm glad to see the compassion shown here, and I applaud it. I take particular umbrage with desultory and flippant comments about suicide. Ignorance is no excuse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

< Power of the media or mass ignorance?

Or an understanding of Japanese society. Perhaps this young man‘s death has nothing to do with bullying, but I doubt it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But its being made a scapegoat for Japan's larger failings.

The bullies didn't give a crap about their victim's suicide that day, they probably went back to fiddling their smartphone, planning to find their new victim while totally amnesiac about their previous victims. This has been known as the way in Japan since at least 1931.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Some clarifications and additional information: the Asahi Shimbun reports that the boy's whereabouts were last known at about 5 pm on Sunday; the boy's mother phoned police at 9 that evening. The boy didn't stop going to school after the start of the 3rd term but was frequently absent. During this time his homeroom teacher visited his house weekly to inquire after him, and on the Friday before his death the boy received a visit from the head teacher of his grade. Finally, the boy had answered in the negative to the school's monthly bullying questionnaires.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is one thing that every body has over looked, how the f*** do you get access to climb these towers? surely they are locked, or if there is a ladder on the out side there should be some sort of prevention so that they/you can get access.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is one thing that every body has over looked, how do you get access to climb these towers? surely they are locked, or if there is a ladder on the out side there should be some sort of prevention so that they/you can get access."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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