The number of reported cases of bullying at schools in Japan for fiscal 2012 reached a record high 198,108, the Education Ministry announced Tuesday.
The number is not only the highest since records began being kept in 1985, but also 2.8 times greater than the figure for fiscal 2011, the ministry said.
A ministry spokesman said the high number is the result of increased awareness of the problem and a greater willingness by students and their parents to report bullying, as a result of the high-profile case of a Shiga boy who killed himself after being tormented by his classmates in late 2011, TBS reported.
The ministry also said that 196 school children committed suicide in fiscal 2013.
According to the ministry's findings, for every 1,000 students across Japan, there were an average of 14.3 bullying cases reported. Kagoshima Prefecture had the most with 32,167, or 166.1 cases per 1,000 students, while Saga Prefecture experienced the fewest with 207 cases, or two cases per 1,000 students, recognized.
The ministry is calling for education boards nationwide to pool their resources and improve their understanding of why bullying happens and develop improved countermeasures and preventative programs, TBS reported.© Japan Today