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Girl's death in Hokkaido prompts probe into alleged bullying

32 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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32 Comments
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An absolute tragedy. That poor girl.

Her bullies should have the book thrown at them. Scum

16 ( +16 / -0 )

How can " forcibly took nude photos of her " and " no signs of bullying" appear in the same article.

I would say unbelievable but it is not the first time and won't be the last.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Bullying is a persistent and growing problem at Japanese schools

No it is a Japanese culture. nothing will change

16 ( +19 / -3 )

I don't think you can stop bullying, but you can certainly recognize it and punish it, neither of which happened here or ever seem to happen at all. Creating consequences for the bullies would make some? many? of them think twice.

In this case, the school and authorities sided with the bullies over what is atrocious and almost certainly criminal behaviour. All the girl and her family got was denial. "Shut up and go away", which she did to another school (tenkou), the most common Japanese solution to bullying. This lack of concern and justice from the authorities amplifies the hurt from the bullying and can be more harmful than the incidents themselves.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Bullying is endemic in Japanese culture. It's the main reason why the whole senpai/kohai dynamic still exists in 2021. It will never be eradicated in Japan. It would be akin to outlawing hugging or something similar back home.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

This case is one of the rare times where teenagers should be tried as adults. The full story of what they did was atrocious. Not just the photos, but how they cornered her, assaulted her, victimized her, and preyed on this girl. Those monsters all belong in prison. Only one of the bullies' mother sided with the victims mother but the school and BOE wanted to protect their reputation.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

You got that right @JJJPlane 8:33am...

“Bullying is considered an embarrassment for schools.

...“the school and BOE wanted to protect their reputation.”

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Where are the suspensions and expulsions for the 2019 culprits? @kohakuebisu 8:19a: Why is ‘tenkou’ even considered? It’s BOE sanctioned “victim blaming”.

“They concluded that there was no bullying, board of education official Hiroki Tsujinami said. Results of that investigation have not been released.” -

Time to ‘clean house’ at school with some threats of losing pensions to weed out the bad apples.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

why does this happen every now and then. OMG. Poor girl. SO much Japan has to change in how they protect children and infants. Few times at their own mother's hands.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She was rescued and the incident led to an internal investigation by the school and city education authorities. They concluded that there was no bullying, board of education official Hiroki Tsujinami said. Results of that investigation have not been released.

I think it is time the people that conducted that investigation should be made responsible for their actions. If that is not done then this will simply be repeated endlessly. Begin by publishing the results and see how well it was done.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Name and shame, in the school. Bullies made to stand up in front of the assembly, their actions read out loud. If parents their don't like, change schools.

Years ago my school tried that, it helped the situation no end. Made others comfortable to come forward which led to suspension then expulsion of the bullies

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan is going backward in so many ways if you have children here the best thing you can do for them is to educate them in a real first world Country...

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Japan is going backward in so many ways if you have children here the best thing you can do for them is to educate them in a real first world Country...

Agree 100%. I would never raise kids in Japan. I want them to be able to think for themselves, plus enjoy life as a teenager; two things not possible in Japan.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Some point out the Japanese culture itself to be the cause of these cases of bullying and fail to realize that this is more of a universal issue. Very similar case recently occurred in Paris. I personally suspect there to be child-parent issues behind most cases, but nonetheless believe the institutions need to work harder in proactively resolving these cases rather than turning a blind eye and prioritizing their reputation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bullying is a persistent and growing problem at Japanese schools, ...

No it's not. It's something that's been endemic in schools here since the olden days. Ask any elderly person. The kids used to be tougher. Boys used to fight - fist fight and kids were encouraged to fight back esp. by family.

These days kids are much softer and are dealing now with online bullying too.

This suicide epidemic of offing yourself to make others feel sorry for you or for "showing the bully what they've done" needs to exorcised out of their heads.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Thomas GoodtimeToday  07:17 am JST

An absolute tragedy. That poor girl.

Her bullies should have the book thrown at them. Scum

And the school officials as well for not doing something about this abusive crap. And the conformity atmosphere doesn't help.

She indicated that she was suicidal before. Was she abused at home as well, maybe?

Teen years are really tough for many people, and the bullies of those years usually never mature beyond that level. They grow up (physically) to become bigger brats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She was sexually assaulted if the allegations are true. Unfortunately even in Japanese companies the attitude is blame the victim for causing trouble. Japan needs a national investigative and response team. Local school boards have a conflict of interest.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There’s too much at stake to address this cultural problem. To discard mass conformity would surely risk losing power of the masses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Weekly Bunshun magazine, citing police autopsy results, said she likely died of hypothermia soon after going missing.

Her death and a statement by her mother that she had been bullied prompted Asahikawa Mayor Masahito Nishikawa to instruct education authorities to reinvestigate the case.

Though I assume that the school bullying was responsible for her death, the causality is probably most difficult to prove. The defense lawyer at criminal court (if held) may argue that she could have died by accident, not suicide.

The case may be brought to civil court for settlement, but official enquiries will never be worthless. I wish justice being done for her surviving family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese workplaces - rife with power harrassment and forced overtime without pay etc.

This is Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The city officials were correct. This wasn't a case of bullying. It was a serious sexual assault. That and a case of producing and transferring child porn. They should have handed the case to the police straight away.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Though I assume that the school bullying was responsible for her death, the causality is probably most difficult to prove. The defense lawyer at criminal court (if held) may argue that she could have died by accident, not suicide.

The case may be brought to civil court for settlement, but official enquiries will never be worthless. I wish justice being done for her surviving family.

Let me add to or self-correct my post for clarity. Even if the criminality is clearly found, the suspects are minors, thus the case is unlikely to go to a regular criminal court. And generally speaking, the "forced" suicide is hard to prove.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They forcibly took photos of a naked 12 year old girl and posted them on social media... WTAF!?

Verdict: Hmmm...Maybe something, probably nothing, who knows? NEXT! Disgusting

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately Japan has two samurai codes. 1. Survival of the fittest. 2. Survival of the well-connected rich.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She was sexually assaulted if the allegations are true

One would assume the photos being on social media is evidence enough.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hope the bullies grow up and then realize what they did. They are murderers. Then they suffer with that the rest of their lives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bullying often goes unnoticed at Japanese schools...

Unnoticed? Or ignored?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Again

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bullying is always going to be a thing - teach children how to be resilient and take care of themselves, how to speak up and get help. Targeting bullying is important but shouldn't;t be the priority here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem is, that it is handled quite the opposite way, compared to what common sense would recommend. When I was young, the few bullies (up to middle school) were taken out of class and put into ‘problem’ schools, keeping all of the normal schools bullying-free. And later, if it ever was a high school , a university or a company, one would have been completely fired without a second chance or considering a background, showing tears, remorse, excuses. No way, everyone knew beforehand what will happen, if bullying after middle school. It was explicitly announced on the first day. Admitted, many things already considered bullying or physical harassment etc. nowadays, were a bit usual and tolerated then, so that only the real worst cases were treated like written above. But in no case the victims had to leave or change the institution, if not wanted by themselves. And they could rely on being relieved soon instead of being forced into self-isolation or even suicidal thinking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Boys used to fight - fist fight and kids were encouraged to fight back esp. by family.

These days kids are much softer and are dealing now with online bullying too.

Speed, it's not the kids who are softer. The problem is the new policies that punish anyone who gets in a fight, even someone defending themselves. "He started it!" can no longer be said in one's defense; the victim will be punished as much as the aggressor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bullying is endemic in Japanese culture. It's the main reason why the whole senpai/kohai dynamic still exists in 2021. It will never be eradicated in Japan. It would be akin to outlawing hugging or something similar back home.

There’s too much at stake to address this cultural problem. To discard mass conformity would surely risk losing power of the masses.

Many fail to understand that the problem, albeit some culturally varying aspects, is by no means unique to Japan. Blaming the matter on national culture is completely misplaced. Bullying is an issue whether it be North America or Europe Ir elsewhere.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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