77,630 school bullying cases recognized in 2010


The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said Tuesday that it had received reports of 77,630 cases of bullying at schools for the 2010 school year across Japan. These include elementary, middle, high, and special support education schools, NTV reported.

The figure is a 6.7% increase over the 2009 school year, the ministry said in a statement to media.

Meanwhile, the number of students who stayed away from school for more than 30 days for reasons other than sickness was 119,891, NTV reported.

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While no staff supervision in the yard in breaks, this will only continue. In western schools, a teacher (or two) always wanders the yard to monitor behavioural breaches. And, with modern technology, covert harassment - even outside of the school - is becoming more widespread.

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key word - recognized. how many are not? i think the same number. and now we have a new word for workplace bullying.

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IainR- Totally agree. Children should be taught manners and how to treat people people around them by their parents, starting from day one. Of course, there are children with behaivour problems not related to their family life but mostly, it's the parents. The amount of times I've witnessed quite aggressive and rude behaivour at the twins's elementary school and the parents (usually the mother) was either too busy talking, texting or indifferent to it. There are great parents there but most seem to think it's the school's responsibility. One crowd of mums in a PTA meeting, asked that the school work on their kids 'aisatsu'. I mean WTH! That stuff should have been well reinforced way before school starts. Didn't go down well when I voiced that!

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what`s with all the thumbs down for people against bullying. you all think bullying is ok?

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So much..? I am shocked . and Sad... No kid has any rights over a another kid . It should be taught as in everyday manner.

The care takers and the teachers of the Schools should be more responsible...for these acts

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Hey Miyazawa3, it is so sad that so much of this kind of thing goes on, but really im afraid, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You are right, I think more should be done in schools to prevent this from happening, but really, everyday manners, come from the home.

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Get AKB on the case!

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Just look at an English to Japanese dictionary, "assertiveness" has a negative connotation in Japanese.

I looked.

assertive/əsə́ːrtiv/ 形容詞自分の意見[希望権利など]をはっきり述べる, はきはきした, 積極的に主張する.

Don't see anything negative there.

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Apologies Cleo & Yubaru, I meant "self-assertive" as in the preceding line.

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As with most stats they are AT LEAST off by an order of magnitude so at minimum these figures need to double, but sadly since bullying is so ingrained in japanese culture the sky is really the limit on this stuff, so if they are saying 200+ cases per day, my guess is in reality this isnt even close

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The very sad FACT is too much bullying in Japan is VERY MUCH accepted by the locals, no mistake about it IT is very much a part of being Japanese, its the dark side that everyone knows is there, participates in it, but doesnt want to admit its real.

I hope yr kids situation gets better, & makes her stronger

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Bullying is not ok. GW is right. Issues did clear up after some training and a good reversal on how she was treated. Needless to say I was called on that but didn't condone her right to defend herself.

The school had no choice but to deal with it after that point or it was guaranteed to happen again. Worst part it was a group of young "future" example of good men ...yes this is sarcasm at it's best.

No wonder they have women's only train cars.

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Sam and Nicky well said. People are always so quick to jump on the teachers. It shouldn't be a teacher's job to teach kids manners and how to behave properly. That should be done by the parents. At home. Long before the kids start school.

The thing is, Japan's whole entire working system in built on bullying. Get rid of sempai/kohai, automatic respect for elders and promote people who deserve to be promoted, not those who have been there the longest. Watching teachers at my former school shocked me. Petty, vindictive and bullies. How can anyone expect the kids not to bully when the adults here haven't yet learned not to?

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sillygirlFEB. 08, 2012 - 07:19AM JST "key word - recognized. how many are not?"

Sadly I think this number is going to be sky high. And the 119,891 not going to school were likely bullied too.

Despite all the great positive aspects, J-schools still need a lot of basic overhauling.

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@sillygirl: Good catch! although, I do not believe for a second that Japanese efficiency in eliminating (recognizing, admitting, etc) bullying is as high as 50% as you suggested. See no evil, hear no evil -> acknowledge no evil.

How about stating the reasons for bullying? "You filthy hibakusha survivor descendant!!", "Eww, disgusting! This student of mine is from Fukushima, he's radioactive!!"?

Japanese elementary schools do not teach nor encourage teaching ethics to children and it shows. Are they supposed to learn that from their salaryman dads who are never home but at work producing nothing but job security? Will anki-pressing teachers be the role models? Or politicians? Please!

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Unfortunately with my experience working at a Japanese school I couldn't tell which was bullying and which wasn't. They always said they were just playing... even the one I thought was being bullied.

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Nicky's right though, until an element of self-assertiveness is introduced to the culture, little, if anything, will change

積極性, せっきょくせい is assertiveness and it depends upon the situation and more importantly the who and how it is delivered that determines whether or not it is negative or not. It very well can have a negative connotation if the person is assertive to the point that their opinion is all that matters.

What needs to be done first is children need to be taught self respect and self worth, however in a society that prides itself on group mentality, individuality is something that takes a back seat.

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Cases of bullying have hit the news for years in this country, even the example of the young teenage girl who killed her fellow classmate at a computer as a longterm result of being harassed . I as well had issues with a school my daughter was in for years, she was harassed on a daily basis and everytime I spoke to people in charge they did nothing. This went on too long . They don't contact the parents here. I ended up at the police station after a group tossed her new bike in a river. Result ? No compensation for damaged bike and continuation of harassment.

I think the rules need to be implemented here , bully and get suspensions. Physical attacks tougher teenage laws.

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Bully the bullies

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Crazedinjapan~ Sorry to hear about your daughter's experiences. My son also has had a bad time at youchien and then shogakko. The youchien was racial. The shogakko problem is a boy in his class who beats up on everyone and generally bullies all and sundry. My son was off school for 3 weeks and was showing symptoms of depression. He was in 1st grade and his teacher was amazing. Came to visit the house several times, all year one had a meeting about how bullying is wrong and children should learn to respect each other, not be afraid to speak out etc. Year 2 and my son is in the same class as this boy again. Different teacher. Different story. A few of my shogakko mummy friends have complained that their kids are being hit but the teacher doesn't do anything. Infact, despite the terrible time my son had in the first year that is well documented, she paired him up with the bully in a swimming lesson. The boy held my son's head down under the water and basically terrified him. Another mum saw this and phoned me. My son came home from school and was terrified of going back to school the next day. Three girls ganged up on one girl in the same class and punched and kicked herbhard enough to leave quite bad bruises. The teacher again didn't even call in the parents but just 'noted it'.

It really depends upon the teacher and the principle of the school. Bullying in any form is just not acceptable. There are teachers out there who are 'in the trenches' so to speak, trying to fight this issue. The problem is that not everyone else from folk in the city office, to principles, to teachers, to parents thinks bullying is wrong. This is a problem that needs to be firmly stamped out but Japanese society seems to address bullying as a way of stomping on the weak or odd ones out.

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The good thing is that they are being reported. The question is, what are they doing about it?

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Tmarie- You echo my sentiments exactly! Well put!

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i think the social media or Blogs is not good for bullying. because in japan, in those communication site, its popular to use nickname or handlename without true name. the children who bullyed cant know who tease them. they cant oppose or arguing to opponent, and then feel bad or depressing. its troublesome. be open minded, school buller is so unfair , japanese say NEKURA. i feel some sympathy for the victims. i hope buller will be aware of their shamefullness.

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@ Samantha Zoe Aso

I'm afraid to say, but I got the impression that most publicly funded schools in Japan are beset by shuudan bullying. I wouldn't be surprised if that tool of a teacher would start blaming your kid (the victim) for not being able to avoid the bully.

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Samantha you are absolutely right. I see good kids and bad kids all the time in my 3 different schools and almost invariably bad kid - bad parents.

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The covert bullying here that often occurs here goes unreported and is a problem that permeates all facets of society from school-aged children to the elderly as well.

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There is no staff in classrooms often too as the teachers move around.

They should have included stats on bullying in the work place. My girl friend just started a new job, and she told me they are at it already. Humiliating all the new people in front of the older workers. What is wrong with these people???

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Ahhh... finally I understand; so bullying is how the Japanese fill all those "extra" hours of work/study. I'd been scratching my head as to exactly how they can't seem to get any more work done in the many more hours they spend at work/school when compared to their western counterparts. Now I understand; a bit of humiliation & hazing of the new recruits whiles away a good couple of hours.

Unfortunately, in a culture that places so much emphasis on Sempai/Kouhai, this will inevitably happen as "elders" will have an over-inflated sense of entitlement, and like most bullies, those bullying were most likely bullied themselves.

Nicky's right though, until an element of self-assertiveness is introduced to the culture, little, if anything, will change. Just look at an English to Japanese dictionary, "assertiveness" has a negative connotation in Japanese.

One last thing I would like to add; I can often hear cries of "Ijime!" at even the gentlest of teasing/mocking. The Japanese seem a bit sensitive to it all being said and done.

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Sorry - hit send too early - you can bet if one of these managers knew when he started chucking his weight around that he was going to get an earful of humiliation back questioning his manhood given his need to chuck his weight around that he might engage brain before gob a little more.

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Agree, there is a fair amount of bullying going on. Tough to compare as most overseas countries don't publish their stats. I would say on a par.

Son had a few incidents but the bully also bullied other kids so nothing personal. Also agree it is mostly due to their upbringing, son is well liked at school(only hafu) and my house is filled with kids at times and he plays outside every day.

Said that from PTA meetings most of the bullies seem to have "monster-parents".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese elementary schools do not teach nor encourage teaching ethics to children and it shows

Agree there is a problem but do not agree with this statement at all. Some schools are really excellent at dealing with the problem. It is just not consistent across the system.

What is wrong with these people???

TBH I think at least part of the problem is also the culture of "taking it". I have seen people being screamed at and just bowing their heads and nodding in agreement about their general skumminess and lack of right to share the same air as everyone else when in fact what they should be doing is standing up, yelling right back and telling these people where to get off. But they are not taught to do that here.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The worst part of it that this problem is not recognized in Japan. Admitting the issue exists is the first step but I'm not holding my breath.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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