national

Boy who moved to Yokohama from Fukushima bullied at school

44 Comments

Officials from the Yokohama Municipal Board of Education said that a 13-year-old boy who had to leave his school in Fukushima after the 2011 nuclear accident, and transferred to a school in Yokohama had been bullied.

The board released a report that condemns the school’s “abandonment of education” in dealing with the issue, Fuji TV reported Thursday. The case came to light after the boy's parents complained to the board.

The boy, who is now a first year junior high school student, started school in Yokohama in August 2011, having been evacuated from Fukushima when he was a second year student in elementary school. According to the report, his classmates started calling him “kin" (virus) after saying his name, and he was forced to pay money at least 10 times, usually at a video arcade, by classmates who said “you have been receiving compensation from TEPCO.” Though the boy’s parents consulted the school in 2014, it took more than a year for the school to investigate what was going on and the bullying was left unresolved, the report said.

In the report, the investigative independent committee pointed out the school’s lack of attention to the boy who now has some psychological issues after the evacuation from Fukushima, and reprimanded school officials for not actively dealing with this issue.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
Login to comment

Reprimanded? Why not fired? Failure all around...make these fools pay! PLEASE!

And to the kids calling this kid names, I hope that SOMEONE would please educate these teenagers that in reality it is THEY that are the virus, not the other way around. They need to know that their virus is contagious and needs to be wiped out!

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Hope he's okay, and that he doesn't step in front of a train because of others' cruelty.

I was bullied in high school, until I finally got tired of it, fought the guy, and made him bleed

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I guess it is easy to see how in an even less enlightened age Hiroshima people were stigmatised throughout Japan through no fault of their own.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

No names of the school officials? That's why nothing gets done. Name and shame them to effect change.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

How do Japanese ever get to think like this baffles me.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

One of the most disturbing bullying stories i have ever read. Shameful and disgraceful. Would hate to be one of bullies parents.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japanese compassion at its best...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

One of the most disturbing bullying stories i have ever read. Shameful and disgraceful. Would hate to be one of bullies parents.

I would more hate to be the parent of the child being bullied. Odds are the bullies here learned the traits from someone in their family, typically a parent.

Like a saying I once heard, "Children are the mirror of their parents" or something like that, meaning that I would bet that the bullies here learned to bully others from being the victims of a bully in their own home. Also, typical in JHS there are usually one or two ring leaders that start the bullying and the others just follow the leader.

Cut off the leader and the rest of the kids will go back to being kids.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Cut off the leader and the rest of the kids will go back to being kids.

Exactly! But the teachers (not that it should be their job, but it is) never actually do anything decisive about it. They would rather just bury their head in the sand and just pretend everything is OK. Or if they do act on it, it usually involves a massive verbal hose down right in front of everyone - which comes across more like a nervous breakdown on the teacher's part. This lack of assertiveness and leadership (from leaders) is absolutely appalling and extremely damaging to society. This in turn affects all of us.

I'm not for corporal punishment or anything like it, but a (metaphorical) kick up the backside of the offending students in the Principal's office from time to time (after trying to reason with them on a logical basis) would go a long way. By remaining silent when this type of bullying and harassment is happening right in front of them, teachers are complicit in this behaviour. Such an ugly pockmark on the Japanese psyche.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Reprimanded? Why not fired?

Because this is Japan and there is no such thing as taking real responsibility.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Not to. Excuse the actions of the bullying students or lack of action by verge teachers, but not saying you were from Fukushima might be a good idea.

Just like how Japanese have given people from Minamata a hard time simply from being from there.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Why do these kids not fight back.

If it were my son he'd better start punching back.

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

ehat a tragic nation, tragic society! I'm used to say the japanese are very considerate, with a lot of "omoiyari" to give.... to the people directly related to them, or people in their social circle! Look at how japanese treat each other in the trains? or somebody new in the company/ school, or foreigners... they treat like trash any "outsider" and since this society is firmly based on "circles" you have widespread bullying and ZERO consideration for others around, they greet their neighbors while run over other people from 2 blocks away.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Unbelievable. I love most things about Japan, but this article highlights some of it's worst flaws; a corrupt and negligent corporation that destroyed the live of countless people, the culture of bullying that Japan allows to fester, and the woefully inadequate actions of schools that are responsible for protecting its students. The fact that a victim of the Fukushima disaster is being victimized a second time at school is heartbreaking. I SOOOOOO wish that this bullying had taken place in one of my classrooms. You can bet that the situation would have been handled MUCH differently.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Any student who was proved to be guilty should be severely punished. And the rest of the student population in the school must be made aware of the punishment and consequences.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

very good comments we have this morning. I have to confess I broke up with a japanese girlfriend over "attitude differences", the spark was a discussion we had about bullying and japanese society. When I told her I will teach my children to fight back anyone who tries to bully them, or if it's possible (case by case) to protect anyone who's been bullied. Different from the japanese, that not only don't do anything about, but join the bully just to not being bullied (how coward is that???). She thought it was absurd, and her main worry was what the teachers and other parents would think about HER........... any other country they would be highly commended for stepping up and stop the bullying, but in Japan, you know the rules.........there is no other nation on earth the people are so obsessed about what the others think about them... the others not being the "outsiders" I said in my comment above but the people directly linked to them. Once I tried to wash the car and my wife's mother told me "no, wait until 10am so the neighbors will be out and won't see you washing the car, they might think we're wasting water". Seriously Japan, what the actual f....................

4 ( +5 / -1 )

CDNinJapan

I SOOOOOO wish that this bullying had taken place in one of my classrooms. You can bet that the situation would have been handled MUCH differently.

Sincere question here, what would you have done?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Might be a sidetrack, but let me say this is partly the government's responsibility.

Why do they say everything's under control that's not? Why do they forbid the media from reporting that tons of contaminated water is leaking even now? Because vegetables and crops won't be bought by people? Well, I already stopped buying things from Fukushima because the infomation is so vague. No wonder the kids without good knowledge about nuclear stuff are baffled with a friend from where the accident took place.

As for bullying, I agree with those commens above mostly. But one thing, when the leader is kicked out, children will start calling another one the leader. Been working for a school, I see that several times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese adults did the same thing to Fukushima refugees: I have inlaws from Fukushima-ken who drove south to Ibaraki-ken in those early days after the disaster to stay with relatives. They parked their cars on the street and neighbors who saw the Fukushima car tags told them to get the cars off the street and go back home.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If this happened 10 times at a video game arcade which I assume is off campus, wouldn't this sort of be a police matter too?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"reprimanded school officials"

What kind of reprimand? It is meaningless guff from officials to act like something is being done whilst at most a stern telling off is all that will get done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because this is Japan and there is no such thing as taking real responsibility.

Actually because it's more about selective responsibility. If you are a government employee, like a teacher, or city office worker, get nailed for DUI, say good bye to your job. Fail to protect or allow a child to be bullied and do nothing about it, get a slap on the wrists.

Society has not raised this issue to the level of negligence, and until it is, these teachers, administrators, and BOE types will continue to get away with damn near murder.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@get your point yubaru. What I was trying to say is that if I were the father of a bully I would feel I have failed somewhere as a parent. Not saying all parents of bullies have failed, circumstances do differ from family to family but I know I would be devastated tbh.

I think every parents have a responsibility to ensure their kids do not bully others and in this sense being the parent of a bully would probably affect me more.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We have a high school in Aomori where there have been 5 suicides in 10 years, yes about every two years a 15 or 16 yr old kills themselves. And still the board of education won't publish it's name but there is something insidious in not holding officials to account for their ineptitude.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just sickening... Completely aghast.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I understand, "Kids, will be kids," but this is not inherent behavior.

One must look to who taught them that this is 'OK'.

The parents, whose only true concern is for their child(ren) to 'get good grades'?

The school, within the 'so called' "Morals" lessons?

Or, all the above?

It seems John B. Calhoun's 'discovery' is beginning to bear fruit in human societies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't know why they keep calling it bullying. It's extortion and intimidation equal to that of a crime syndicate, which carries very heavy penalries

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These people have no business being charged with the safety and welfare of young students if they are not willing to shoulder that responsibility like adults.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Name calling and bullying is the worst of human qualities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Someone needs to compile a book list for kids to read which will instill some moral values. I'm sure that the teachers and administrators just ignored the problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sensei285: That must of really got you confuse to school. You end up spending too much time how to work around that bulling shite. And good for you for getting over your fear of that bully and getting over the bully period.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My son also experienced to be bullied also when we transfer apartment and i transfer also my son to other elementary school nearest to us. On the second day after school when my son arrived home after a while he cried because someone called him HAFUJIN meaning half japanese and half japanese so i called at once to the school and i talked to his school adviser and tell everything happened; the school teacher did was she talked to the boy who bullied my son and that boy asked for sorry

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Because this is Japan and there is no such thing as taking real responsibility.

Oh please. Have some perspective. Noone gave a damn when I was nearly beaten to death by bullies in the UK. Never got in the media either.

Bullying is brutal but noone cares or does anything unless someone dies. Then they talk big about changing things and do nothing. And I mean everywhere, not just in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't know what schools YOU went to but when I was there we certainly took things seriously.

Oh please. Have some perspective. Noone gave a damn when I was nearly beaten to death by bullies in the UK. Never got in the media either. Bullying is brutal but noone cares or does anything unless someone dies. Then they talk big about changing things and do nothing. And I mean everywhere, not just in Japan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@sherman. It happens all over the world. I was a high school teacher in Australia and I saw a lot more bullying there than I do here. Perhap it's less overt here. When I was going through uni I worked p/t jobs at supermarkets and in warehouses. I saw a lot of bullying. There's a story today on ABC Australia's news website about a girl who was bullied after an accident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't know what schools YOU went to but when I was there we certainly took things seriously.

Right, so because it was fine for you it had to be fine for everyone, right? I was in the regular school system during the 1990s. Only asian kid in my class. The teachers either ignored it or laughed it off.

I'm not downplaying that bullying is a problem in Japan. I was bullied back here too, because of where I was born and my English. It was upsetting but much less physical/violent than what happened to me in the UK. More like people wearing me down by reminding me 1000 times a day that I didn't "belong" here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't know what schools YOU went to but when I was there we certainly took things seriously.

I find your aggressive response to an individual who said they were bullied a bit worrying, considering you were a teacher there; or that's what I've inferred from your use of "we". The scars don't simply go away because they are adults.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I find your aggressive response to an individual who said they were bullied a bit worrying, considering you were a teacher there; or that's what I've inferred from your use of "we". The scars don't simply go away because they are adults

I was responding to your aggressive responce to my first comment. What happened to you is unforgivable, but that does not excuse the lax attitude Japan has toward bullying. I was bullied terribly at school. It was the reason that got me interested into martial arts which in turn got me to move to japan. But even though I was bullied, and others were as well, our teachers even back then took it VERY seriously. Of course some slip through the cracks, but by and large, bullying was taken seriously. Its the attitude of the system that is wrong.

Though the boy’s parents consulted the school in 2014, it took more than a year for the school to investigate what was going on and the bullying was left unresolved, the report said

Did your parents report your bullying to the school? and if so, was nothing done about it?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I was responding to your aggressive responce to my first comment. What happened to you is unforgivable, but that does not excuse the lax attitude Japan has toward bullying. I was bullied terribly at school. It was the reason that got me interested into martial arts which in turn got me to move to japan. But even though I was bullied, and others were as well, our teachers even back then took it VERY seriously. Of course some slip through the cracks, but by and large, bullying was taken seriously. Its the attitude of the system that is wrong.

I'm sorry if I came across as aggressive and not just a bit sarcastic. I like reading what people here have to say but so many posts here are always "Japan is the worst, Japanese are no good" and it just drives me crazy. I thought your implication that Japanese never take responsibility for anything was insulting. I take responsibility very seriously.

I'm sorry to hear you were bullied too. I'm glad your teachers took it seriously though mine did not. Are you sure your school was not just a fortunate case? I was mainly bullied due to racism although at my schools white British kids got bullied as well for other reasons so it wasn't always a race issue.

Did your parents report your bullying to the school? and if so, was nothing done about it?

Yes, I missed school due to injuries. The headmaster talked to (some) of the students responsible. Not effective, naturally. This was the school that totally ignored bullying issues. The first school I was at was a little different because teachers would yell at people for causing disruption (no matter if they were bullies or bullied) so there was less open or physical bullying around the school.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm sorry if I came across as aggressive and not just a bit sarcastic. I like reading what people here have to say but so many posts here are always "Japan is the worst, Japanese are no good" and it just drives me crazy.

Very big of you to apologize. Apology accepted. Thank you.

I thought your implication that Japanese never take responsibility for anything was insulting. I take responsibility very seriously.

I'm assuming then that you're Japanese. I apologize for offending you, but I'm afraid we'll have to disagree here. I do feel that the Japanese do not take responsibility for their actions, but we can discuss that on another thread. I have no doubt that you do take responsibility very seriously, and applaud you for it.

I'm sorry to hear you were bullied too. I'm glad your teachers took it seriously though mine did not. Are you sure your school was not just a fortunate case? I was mainly bullied due to racism although at my schools white British kids got bullied as well for other reasons so it wasn't always a race issue.

Thank you for your kind comment. Being bullied is what got me into martial arts, which is what ultimately brought me to Japan. Bullying in schools is an international problem that needs to be dealt with. However I feel that bullying in Japan stems from the culture as it seems to continue well into the workforce in very similar ways to school. In this way, bullying in Japan, I feel, is slightly different.

Yes, I missed school due to injuries. The headmaster talked to (some) of the students responsible. Not effective, naturally. This was the school that totally ignored bullying issues. The first school I was at was a little different because teachers would yell at people for causing disruption (no matter if they were bullies or bullied) so there was less open or physical bullying around the school.

Your parents then should have taken legal action against the school for not doing more. I am sorry for what you had to go through. That is all I can say. We are both victims of bullying.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Aly

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful response. I appreciate that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anytime. I look forward to more fruitful exchanges with you in the future.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Aly I was the one concerned by your post. Anyway, I'm glad you and ChaosW made up. Bullying is certainly a serious issue

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Aly I was the one concerned by your post. Anyway, I'm glad you and ChaosW made up. Bullying is certainly a serious issue

Yes I know. The first comment was directed toward you too. cheers, and look forward to more exchanges with you too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites