The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has announced plans to conduct a nationwide survey of all public elementary and junior high schools in an attempt to root out bullies.
The ministry said that it intends to try to ascertain the prevalence and nature of bullying in the nation's public schools, following the high profile case of a boy in Shiga Prefecture who committed suicide after being bullied at school.
Education Minister Hirofumi Hirano told reporters Friday that the number of bullying consultations had risen sharply since the story made headlines nationwide, Sankei Shimbun reported. After the Shiga case hit the news, Hirano said the ministry set up a special bullying hotline, which has been flooded with calls, according to Sankei.
"Bullying can occur in any school and we need to reflect on whether or not we have really grasped the scale of the problem," Hirano said. "We need to take preventive measures at an earlier stage."
The information is to be gathered by a questionnaire given to all students and by private interviews, Sankei reported. The ministry plans to release information gathered in the survey from August.© Japan Today