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Court orders ex-classmates to pay ¥38.5 mil for bullying-induced suicide in Shiga

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Fortunately the court is holding these guys responsible for their actions!

19 ( +21 / -2 )

The city of Otsu accepted its culpability for failing to prevent the suicide and reached a settlement with the family in 2015, paying 13 million yen in damages.

They should have paid 10 times that amount! Sadly Japanese courts dont hand down compensation awards that fit the "crime"! Japanese courts are loathe to make someone rich off of someone else's failures!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Here’s why I think this is an excellent judgment. Notwithstanding the actual amount, money pinches. Parents of bullies will now look at their kids with a kind of hazard recognition that could cost them dear. Happy to see justice was done, even if the poor kid can’t be brought back.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

A very telling statement. The job or any Govnt or agency is to look after its people. Period.

The city's education board initially found no connection between the suicide and bullying,

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Good. I said it before, I'll say it again, the problem with bullying is that there are no consequences for the bullies.

Maybe things will start to change now.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I am of course anti-bullying but you are the only one to blame if you kill yourself... there are other ways to deal...

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

@Bintaro - Good. I said it before, I'll say it again, the problem with bullying is that there are no consequences for the bullies.

Unfortunately, it is the parents who will are being punished in this case. Hopefully, the parents will make these thugs work and pay back the money. Japan needs to introduce public service for juvenile offenders. Cutting grass at shrines and picking up roadside garbage every weekend for a few years would shake these twits up more than hitting their parents with a massive amount of compensation.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Unfortunately, it is the parents who will are being punished in this case. Hopefully, the parents will make these thugs work and pay back the money. Japan needs to introduce public service for juvenile offenders. Cutting grass at shrines and picking up roadside garbage every weekend for a few years would shake these twits up more than hitting their parents with a massive amount of compensation.

Ok, but then our tax money is going to be used for the people who have to oversee these JD's as you suggest here. I dont want to pay for it!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

My daughter was also severely bullied at JHS in Japan. She became suicidal and I had desperate moments trying to talk her out of jumping from the roof of our house. There three suicides of JHS students within an 8km radius of each other in 2015/2016. Her expensive private school in Miyazaki city tried to cover up the bullying. It wasn’t until I appealed to n prefectural government did the school even open up a meeting for parents of the class involved. It was all about protecting the schools image, the schools soccer team (who were the bullies) and keeping us quiet. My daughter was diagnosed with PTSD and the school accepted our insurance claims for hospital bills, therefore accepting responsibility. However....we still have no apologies from the two main bullies and their families. And my daughter still struggles with PTSD from school bullying.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

If Japanese schools are going to have "morality" classes, this case should be lesson number one. Should put the wind up those who think they can bully others.

I like Disillusioned's idea about public service, but in Japan, grass cutting and litter collection are "youji" (a Japanese euphemism for volunteering) that local people get coerced into through neighborhood associations. You are not supposed to regard such tasks as "punishments".

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Nice, let's hope this has an effect on other bulliers in the future.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Yubaru - Ok, but then our tax money is going to be used for the people who have to oversee these JD's as you suggest here. I dont want to pay for it!

So, that means, these little twits go unpunished. I don’t mind some of my taxes being used to punish these thugs. Make them work on cleaning up Mt. Fuji on weekends.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

From what I remember correctly, after the news broke out about this, 2 or 3 of the boys' home addresses were leaked on the internet and they faced a lot of repercussions from harassing phone calls and vandalism of their homes which forced them to move. Everything that has happened to them and their parents' money was well-deserved.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Disillusioned

Unfortunately, it is the parents who will are being punished in this case.

Well, that's not different from any other cases concerning minors. If a kid a trashes a house and is condemned to pay damages, it will also fall on the parents.

Now what is needed is real consequences for bullies at school. I would be in favor for a "3 strikes, you're out" kind of system. If a kid is punished twice but still continues bullying others, he should just be expelled definitely. There's just no reason to keep him around other kids if he is a danger to them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Victoria Yoshimura I am really sorry to read your story and it makes me worried about my kids when they enter grade school in the future. One thing I do know however, private schools aren't free of bullying. A lot of parents, not only in Japan but abroad too, think that if their kid enters a private school that they can avoid a certain bad element that may exist in public schools. I went to private school and bullying was rampant there but my brother went through public schooling and there was nothing. My parents worried about me going the local school because it was in a rough part of town so I drove an hour away to go to private school.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yubaru

They should have paid 10 times that amount!

I agree.

Japanese courts are loathe to make someone rich off of someone else's failures!

Which I think is fair enough. Within reason, of course. Some victim-compensation is definitely called for.

As for the fines though, perhaps they could be spent elsewhere, such as anti-bullying campaigns and programmes, or supervising JDs doing community service and so-on as you and Disillusioned discussed above. (All that said, it's more likely to end up in Shinzo's back pocket)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Of course punishment is a good thing. But let's not think that this is going to solve the problem. It will not act as a deterrent to bullies - they already know they aren't supposed to bully and do it anyways. They are kids - their logic centers are not fully developed.

They need to start teaching kids how to deal with bullies, in school, full classroom. Bring it out in the open from a young age. Teach the kids exactly what bullying is, why it's wrong, and how to fight it, right from the first grade.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Absolutely a step in the right direction, of course prevention would obviously be the saner approach, but THIS is a start, a way to address the awful problem of bullying.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I can't imagine bullying will ever disappear from human society, although of course, efforts should be made in that direction.

Still, I think a multi-pronged approach is more appropriate.

We have to be pragmatic. Plans based on a presumption of bullying being eradicated from society are destined to see further tragedies. 

This ought to be recognised as a non-zero probability reality, and accordingly, other measures should taken from other vectors, to hopefully prevent victims of bullying from going off the edge. Of course, the victims of bullying are not to "blame", but there is more than one way to stop bullied kids from killing themselves than simply trying to eradicate bullying. It would be remiss for this to not be considered.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Glad there was an outcome from such tragedy. Disappointed with the monetary compensation, a clear reflection on how an adolescent human life is valued in this nation. These thugs are in need of serious behavior restructuring. I would prefer to place taxes in having them course an intense consultation on how to treat others with dignity and appreciation. I feel compassion towards their parents. Hopefully, these young men will defray the money owe to their parents as well.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bullying is more prevalent in the USA and students must fight to push against it. I had many fights after school when I was in 5th to 8th grade.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

38 Million is no small potatoes, but I agree it should be a lot more. That's less than 10 years of wages for the average company worker, and the victim is obviously will not have the chance to do anything else in life, let alone work. It should have been the sum total of the average a person makes in life. And despite the local school board having reached a settlement with him, they should have received some additional reprimand, at least.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The parents shouldn’t have to pay. The bullies should have it deducted from their income when they work.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Where are those who cry about the unfairness of the J Inc justice system?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Start fining all these bullies including those still doing it (their parents for not ending it). Maybe when parents start getting letters in the mail with a court order to pay 5Myen, they might actually sit their little a-hole kid down and break their bullying tendencies.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good but too little too late...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Elementary, junior and senior high schools in Japan reported more than 410,000 cases in fiscal 2017.

Without a shadow of a slither of doubt, the real number is far higher than what the schools report - or even higher than what they bother to notice.

It's a bullying culture. Considered a cowardly act in developed countries, but in Japan it is normal. It exists in all facets of society.

Ten of the 250 students who committed suicide had been bullied at school, according to education ministry data.

Only ten? Well.. if schools were an institution that could be trusted with protecting the well being of schools, I could believe that number. Until then, the above statement gets filed in my BS/Propaganda drawer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

edit: ... if schools were an institution that could be trusted with protecting the well being of students,..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A just verdict. Condolences to the family.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

These kids will probably join the Yakuza and then extort the money from someone else to pay up.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The high-profile case led Japan to enact a law in 2013 obliging schools to set guidelines to prevent bullying"

good, but is it being monitored? is it working? has there been a decrease in bullying in schools?. Now this case has gone through court, has it set a president where it could leave the flood gates open for more claims? as for the 38.5 million yen, is it enough? can any amount of money replace a lost child? I don't think so, loosing my son or daughter for me, I would be devastated so god knows how his parents feel, probably relieved that they have some sort of closure knowing that the perps have had the comeuppance

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good. Any recognition of the problem is a start but not the whole answer. Yes heavy fines for the parents, it is their responsibility to bring up their children and teaching them that bullying is wrong should be integral to that. Hopefully this will be but the first case of its kind so that parents start to take the consequences seriously and act accordingly. To fine the education authority is meaningless as it just fines the tax payer not those responsible. If the officials and school employees, especially the headmaster who failed to spot and prevent the bullying had to pay the 13 million the whole education system would begin to take the problem extreamly seriously!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DaDude, I suppose it depends much on the school. My son and daughter attended the local public elementary school and a nearby Lutheran JH and HS. They both loved each; my daughter was on the cheerleading team and my son was elected president of his senior class, and their teachers were supportive. Parental involvement may also be important. We had sleepovers so frequently I don't remember a night when we didn't. All of their classmates wanted to be friends with them.

I'd counsel not to worry but to be very actively involved with your children and their friends. You don't necessarily have to play with them; just provide them with a safe place to hang.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Almost JPY 40 millions damage charged to two 13 years old kids at the time of the offense?

Whatever the offense is, something is really wrong in Japan society.

What is next step? Death penalty?

And I am scared with most of the above comments this judgment is fair or even not enough.

The adults failed (school, policy, parents, teachers, police, and so on...). The society should admit it, apologise and come with action to stop this.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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