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Police refuse father's complaints about bullies linked to son's suicide

52 Comments

The father of a boy who committed suicide in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, due to bullying was denied the opportunity to file a complaint about his son's assailants.

The then 13-year-old boy committed suicide by jumping from the roof of an apartment building in October of last year, according to Fuji TV. The Shiga Prefecture Board of Eduction conducted a survey among the boy's classmates, which suggested he had been the victim of a series of assaults and sustained campaign of bullying.

The father of the boy took the survey results and other evidence to the police in an attempt to lodge a complaint against his assailants, Fuji reported. However, the man said that Otsu police have refused to accept the complaint on three occasions, claiming that complaints cannot be lodged in the event that the victim is deceased and was not murdered. They also said the boy left no suicide note indicating what might have driven him to kill himself.

Otsu police say they plan to investigate the circumstances leading up to the boy's death.

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52 Comments
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For those unaware of the details behind this tragedy the cruelty of some of tha acts said to have been committed to the boy is something that exceeded my imagination, incl the suggested possibility that the boy may have been frequently forced to practice his own suicide. Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka, was in tears and loss of words when asked about the incident during his regular press coference. Very disturbing, very sad.

16 ( +15 / -0 )

Also, I heard that the bullies parents are on the PTA and the school wanted to keep everything hush hush about the bullying of the boy. What a horrible bunch of people! Rather keep the bullies safe than expose the whole situation. That means that they will think this behaviour is ok and just continue doing it.

However, it didn't have to be this way. All schools and police are not like this in Japan. I was punched by a student at a junior high school where I teach. The pricipal sent me to the hosital and the police office to file charges against the student. I had full backing 100%. And I just live about 40 minutes from Otsu. They need to deal with this bullies as harshly as possible.

16 ( +15 / -0 )

Spawn devils. I see these little s in little gangs all over the place looking for a victim. My kid can't even go to the park anymore. I couldn't imagine going thru life knowing I made a classmate top himself...at 13. My guess is these s don't lose any sleep.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

They missed a great opportunity to set a precedent in relation to dealing with bullies or cases of a similar nature, but clearly due to corruption and a lack of courage and vision they failed to do so.

Sakurala

What was the outcome of your case against the kid? I hope the school expelled him and you filed charges against him. That is outrageous.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

and these are the ones that grow up and rob old ladies on the phone.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It just better not happen again..ever.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am not condoning the bullying or defending the lack of action by the j-flops, but if this father should have been aware of the issues his son was having at school long before his suicide. Talk to your kids people!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Disillusioned... I agree parents all over the world should make more effort to keep in touch with their kids problems however the threat of ruining ones reputation (or their families) is just a good a threat as any in this country. The whole "I'll tell everyone you did blah blah blah" or whatever is used by bullies, swindlers, child abusers, rapists, etc... even in the office, as adults, it is still, unfortunately, a common practice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the boy has been publicly bullied, punched, disgraced and forced to do humiliating acts by the bullies within the school premises and was witnessed by many students, and even his classmates. And it was not only this particular kid, others were treated the same as well like forcing the kids to give the bullies money, revealing their bank account so that the bullies can use them and yes had them practice suicide too.

However the school did not do anything even kowing these facts. The father of the leader of the bullies is a fromer POLICEMAN who worked with the same police force the father went to complain. And the father of the bully is also the head ot the PTA of the school.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Is it any wonder that Hashimoto has absolutely no faith in these Board of Education?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I'm lucky that myself nor someone I love has never been a victim of violent crime or the like (knock on wood) but if I were the father in this case, I'd make it my life's work to go after the bullies no matter their age, their parents, all responsible at the school and then finally the cops. I wouldn't rest neither.

How I would get back at them, let's just leave that to your imagination but let's just say talk is cheap. Call it vigilante justice or what you will but sometimes people need as the classic Extreme ballad goes, more than words.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Mikihouse, thankyou for the additional information. The circumstances resulting in the childs suicide that you have highlighted appear to lean towards a conspiracy of censorship of the childs rights to attend school in a safe, secure environment were compromised by both the bullies and their parents. I hope the victims parents continue their fight for justice and that the ensueing publicity will shame the powers that be into a full investigation. The boy and his parents deserve no less

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Three strikes, you are out. Time to go vigilante. Just remember to leave their shoes on the roof.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I am not in my right mind just thinking if the boy was mine. I would be in jail or in the cackle factory cause I would try to do damage and hurt the bullies their parents the teachers, police. RIP young son.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Is it any wonder that Hashimoto has absolutely no faith in these Board of Education?"

Oh I know Nigelboy! That Hashimoto is so clever! If only we had let him remove the tattooed parents from the PTA, none of this would have happened! If Hashimoto has no faith, surely he has a good reason why!

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

They missed a great opportunity to set a precedent in relation to dealing with bullies or cases of a similar nature, but clearly due to corruption and a lack of courage and vision they failed to do so

"corruption and a lack of courage"??? Which part of

"complaints cannot be lodged in the event that the victim is deceased and was not murdered." can't you understand?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

claiming that complaints cannot be lodged in the event that the victim is deceased and was not murdered. They also said the boy left no suicide note indicating what might have driven him to kill himself.

So the boy just killed himself for the hell of it? Idiots.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

To add more details to the article, the survey was conducted on all students, and about 320 students responded. Among the responses from the 15 students claiming that the victim had been subjected to the suicide practice were passages including: "He was told to practice taking his own life. He was beaten in the bathroom, and he was told to put a dead sparrow into his mouth," He asked a teacher for advice, but the teacher didn't do anything for him," and "He was forced to practice killing himself during lunch break every day."

Of the 15 students, 13 said the boy was extorted for money by his "friends," and that the perpetrators had even bullied the victim into revealing his bank account PIN, which they used to withdraw money. The 15 students also said the victim had been forced to shoplift on the bullies' behalf.

Bullying techniques revealed so far include putting the victim in a headlock, crushing him in the name of "training," pulling down his pants almost every day, and trying to force him to eat dead bees. Teachers witnessed them but they only reprimanded the instigators mildly.

During the first round of oral proceedings in May this year, the Otsu Municipal Government admitted that the boy had been bullied, but also insisted, "We cannot determine that he committed suicide because of the bullying."

The parents of the deceased boy filed a lawsuit with the Otsu District Court in February against three students and their guardians as well as the Otsu Municipal Government, demanding some 77.2 million yen in damages.

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120704p2a00m0na015000c.html

He was forced to shoplift, put a dead sparrow into his mouth, eat dead bees, pull down his pants, practice killing himself every day. And still the municipal government insists they cannot determine that he committed suicide because of the bullying…

10 ( +11 / -1 )

It seems from my reading elsewhere that the reason given for not taking acton against the bullies for causing the suicide was because a causitive effect could not be proved. That is, it can't be proved that the bullying caused the suicide. Secondarily no action against the bullies is possible for the bullying either because the victim is now deceased

I think that the first instiance of refusal to act is debatable. There is such a thing as weight of cumulative evidence, but you can't get that without actually collecting all the evidence and going through it carefully. I think in this case, if the police had been willing to engage in all the necessary evidencie gathering work, some kind of case could have proably have been made that th bullying caused the suicide.

In the second instance, while it may be true that the victim is deceased and that therefore a complaint cannot be filed against the bullying of that particular victim, there were actually many other victims of the same who are not deceased and actions taken on their behalf certainly could be made during which process the full story could be uncovered. So the police could have done more.

This was obviously a political decision. The police don't want to be that involved in the whole bullying question. If they had gone to town on this particular one, it would have set a precedent and the they would have had to do far more work on this kind of thing in the future. They didn't want that and they didn't think the punishment and rehabilitation process for the bullies was worth going through so they canned it.

However, the father has plenty of room to move if he wants to take this forward on a private basis. If he sets up a fund I suspect the donations will come piling in. But as the others have pointed out before me: how could he (and his mother) not have known?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hashimoto, mayor of Osaka, was in tears and loss of words when asked about the incident during his regular press coference.

So it's easy for him to bash on easy targets, but when a real problem comes up his response is to start crying?

Why doesn't he fire the police chief and demand accountability from the police department? Why doesn't he fire the school board, the principle, and all the teachers involved?

What message does this send to the dirty cops, the fingerpointing and "who me?" teachers and parents? That if bad things happen the mayor is going to cry on TV?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@sakurala

The pricipal sent me to the hosital and the police office to file charges against the student. I had full backing 100%.

My only question... Diid the police actually do anything...? I'm betting, taking your statement was only lip service, other than that, they probably circular filed it, as soon as you walked out of the station.

But please tell me I'm wrong, that you personally watched them arrest the teen...?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hashimoto's sister is a teacher so don't try and use his comments about a few crappy teachers make you assume he thinks they're all crsppy. He doesn't. He's just scoring points with some. He can't handle his own kids so shouldn't even be commenting on education and such matters.

And yes, where were the parents when all of this was happening?!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Hashimoto the bully,crying crocodile tears .... It's not enough something has to be done about the police, teachers, PTA and school governors !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

**** the police! The Shiga Prefecture Board of Eduction should be called the Shiga "Bored" of Education! They stopped investigating only after three weeks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I only hope that JT gives follow ups on this story and doesnt just leave everyone hanging.

May the child rest in peace and may his parents find justice!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

gaijininfo-

and a couple of others who missed the hashimoto connection-

Hashimoto is the mayor of Osaka which is in Osaka prefecture, a couple of prefs away from where this incident took place. If you re-read the 1st line, it says "Otsu Shiga Prefecture". Another poster was merely mentioning that Hashimoto was asked to comment. He of course has no jurisdiction in Shiga, so he can only comment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

30,000 plus Japanese have killed themselves each year for the past 11 years.... This poor kid was just another stat amongst the many in a very troubled society beneath the surface

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

This is just a sad sad story.

I remember there were several stories like this at one point yrs and yrs ago. There was a period after that of extended national rage and shame about bullying. (I don't mean like everyone in the land, I mean like it was regularly in the news.) For awhile it seemed cops, and schools were handling things differently and less and less likely to try and hide stuff.

My personal guess as to what may've happened.

My impression of this case (knowing nothing about it first hand) is that this time, more than the Jpns predilection to hide shameful things from outsiders, this bully's former-cop father holds some sort of power over the police force/ the pta/ its town gov. They are probably afraid of him. Maybe because he is just aggressive, but maybe because he is a member of yakuza, and/or has secrets on ppl, crimes they've done or what have you. Of course I actually know nothing about the case, but what the bully did was not normal. That was extreme bullying. He probably learned controlling ppl with fear from his father, not just thru father's abuse, but because he actually does that in the world. So I imagine that as long as ppl fear him, he has a lot of power in that town. This will need some kind of higher up outside authority to be resolved, like the governor of Shiga, or a higher level court ruling. Will it get that far? W/ not only the police but all town officials lining up w/ the bully, there is too much chance for evidence to be accidentally mishandled, lost, witnesses intimidated, etc.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

For those interested: The police are doing something. He will have to court and face a judge for his actions. The date should be set soon but Shiga is a small prefecture with a backed-up system. Also, one of my friends in my city had a similar thing happen to her (punched in the face, causing damage to her neck) and the student went to court. He was forced to pay her salary for 3 months as well as have weekly visits to the police station with his family. It can be done and Otsu should be making an example of this case instead of wasting the opportunity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I recall being bullied in middle school from about 30 guys older than me. I was 12 and most of the guys ranged from age 15 to 19. They were simply jealous of girls liking me. One day the leader of the bullies persuaded the biggest guy of the group to fight me after school. Of course I was afraid. However, instead of waiting after school to get beat up I decided to fight the leader of the bullies during recess. With one punch I knocked the bully out cold like George McFly on Back to the Future. Not only did the bullies respect me after that but now ALL the girls loved me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

something about my case

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sorry but this stuff right here is a disgrace. First the new "Mayor" of Osaka, Hashimoto, is going around trying to destroy the careers of anyone with a tattoo then the police of Otsu have viable evidence but nobody is willing to let the Father file a complaint to follow up on this incident after his child has died? I expected so much better from a country which harbors such a beautiful culture which I, myself, practice. According to this article, however, the Otsu police have agreed to investigate the circumstances of the boy's death. As long as they follow through on this and actually investigate the situation thoroughly then that is a start. It think it should be common sense to the Otsu police and to any adult reading this article that some outside force triggered this 13-year-old to become so unstable and to do the unthinkable.

Any person who was a bullying victim, especially at such a vunerable phase in your life, knows how this feels. I do. Every intelligent adult also knows how cruel and arrogant people in this boy's age group can be :/ I just hope that the Otsu police get off their tails and do the right thing here. They have plenty of evidence to work with and I know that many people can testify to what this kid went through. I doubt this is any different than the Phoebe Prince case (the 15-year-old Irish girl who was pushed into suicide by constantly bullying). Somebody knows something. Kami (God) bless the poor young boy who lost his life and my prayers are also with his family. Kami ga megumi-o-teraru (God bless and protect).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Police refuse father's complaints about bullies linked to son's suicide

Just the title makes me feel sick... There has always been far too much bullying going on in Japanese schools and it makes one wonder if these bullies are those who become "bosozoku" as soon as they are old enough to own a motocycle, or who maybe join the Yamaguchi family? When will the police finally decide to do something about this? I can just imagine what this poor boy must have gone through! My condolences to his family. May he rest in peace. I just thank heavens I had the idea to send my son to an International school in Tokyo. (He hasn't stopped thanking me since...)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this is too sad

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My son was a victim of bullying in primary school in Japan. It got so bad that he told me he wanted to kill himself. The 1st Grade teacher was amazing. After I called the school, he immediately came to our house and the class was given a talk that bullying was wrong. He also told me he was frustrated as instead of being able to just teach the class, most of his day was spent just trying to control this one boy who obviously had severe behaivour problems. In 2nd Grade, class remained the same, different teacher. This teacher kept pairing my son with the boy who had bullied him in 1st Grade. The problem started up again. Despite numerous complaints, she didn't tackle it at all. In fact, the rights of the bully to have an education superseded the rights of my son ( and other boys who were being terrorized but their parents didn't want to rock the boat!) to be educated in a safe and nurturing environment. There are people out there who are fighting to stamp out this problem and bring in strict penalties but they are swimming against a strong tide.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sam, you called the school and dealt with it. Did the parents of this boy do anything? It doesn't seem they did until it was too late and he was dead. How parents can live under the same roof as a child who was going through what this child was going through and not know is nothing but neglect.

I hope that boy is in a good and happy place and away from bullies and crap parents.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

samantha-

how did it work out in 2 grade with the unthinking teacher? and the other parents who wouldn't do anything? that would drive me nuts.

tmaire-

we can't blame the parents for neglect w/o knowing more. neglect is one possibility, but w/the father working to get acknowledgment from officials, not the most likely. fact is, bullying is incredibly humiliating to the one experiencing it and further humiliating to reveal it to someone, even a parent. parents could've noticed he was depressed but not exactly HOW depressed, and if he didn't tell them, could've thot it was because of tests or st else. they also could've been trying to work with him to find a solution, and that wasn't reported in the article.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So if it is so horrible to chat to your parents about it, why do people assume this poor child would speak to a teacher about it? It can't work both ways, can it? Teachers don't live with the kids and would be less likely to see changes like parents. Regardless, the whole thing is a tragedy and society has let this child down.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

it makes one wonder if these bullies are those who become "bosozoku" as soon as they are old enough to own a motocycle, or who maybe join the Yamaguchi family?

I don't think these guys will become "bosozoku", join the Yamaguchi family, or anything like that. They will just go on to high school, college, get a job, get married, and have their own family, with all the opportunities to lead a happy life of which they deprived the killed boy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

hoc come no one saw what was happening then? does the school carry no responsibility at all ? they're quick to want to take over parents responsibilies for educating next to their job as teachers but when it comes to this it seems like they're never in fault, that's a worldwide phenomenon

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@tmarie

So if it is so horrible to chat to your parents about it, why do people assume this poor child would speak to a teacher about it? It can't work both ways, can it? Teachers don't live with the kids and would be less likely to see changes like parents

He did approach his teachers, even his parents did(when he still was alive). They did nothing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've only seen accounts where it states that the boy didn't talk to the teachers about it. If his parents knew it was that bad, why on earth did they keep him at that school? Why didn't they go to the police then? Why didn't they demand a meeting at the school with the parents of the bullies? There was so much more people could have done to help this boy but no one did anything.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

banks-

yes, maybe for average bullying, what these kids were doing was a little special. if they are not yak kids, i can easily imagine them starting their own gang.

tmarie,

maybe in the world of the machines what you are saying would make sense. in the world of the humans, they all have different reasons for feeling and doing different things. there is no easy a+b=c . no, i don't know the answers. but its not too hard to imagine that particular teacher seemed easier to open up to than another one or his own parents. for reasons only known to the kid. or maybe for the very reason that a teacher is further away, more distant, if he has shame he doesn't want to bring it home. or the teacher saw the bullying so it was easier. or like i said maybe he did open up to his parents. it's not too hard to wrap your head around things like "no easy answers/ conclusions" , "different ppl do things a different way" , "different things are important to them for different reasons" etc. is it? in any case i was just saying we can't blame the parents w/o more info. it is too easy to imagine all sorts of other possibilities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan is such an undeveloped country as far as school bullying is concerned. I say this after reading so much of these shit and yet it happens again and again. I love Japan, the good parts of it but these continuing stories on extreme bullying is a stain on the country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The bullying goes far beyond the schools, the workplaces are rife with it, did a little part time work and the main guy had an Apprentice, he treated him worse than a dog, it was disgraceful and left me with the firm impression that I dont not want to work under Japanese employers, and Im sure many of you know that wasnt a one off.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It seems that most Japanese teachers are products of intelligent testing. They know nothing about child development or crisis management. Teachers do not for the most stand up to these punks. I had one incident that I risked my career with one of those "dyed hair, baggy pants, earring, cell phone carrying punks." He mouthed off to me and pushed me. I took him by his collar and dragged him from the 4th floor to the principal's office, handed him to one of the sports teachers in front of the vice principal. I said,"take this piece of s*** before I dismantle him. The teacher proceeded to "chew him out." The punk tried to get his grandmother involved against the school, but somehow it was settled. I had nothing but respect from that student and all the so called bad boys since. Granted, I was lucky and it was a poor representation of myself and the school. However, I knew I had to leave that school and probably junior high then. I did!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It seems that most Japanese parents are products of intelligent testing. They know nothing about child development or crisis management. Parents do not for the most stand up to these punks. I had one incident that I risked my career with one of those "dyed hair, baggy pants, earring, cell phone carrying punks." He mouthed off to me and pushed me. I took him by his collar and dragged him from the park to his house, handed him to one of his parents in front of the other parent. I said,"take this piece of s*** before I dismantle him. The parents then defended the child and nothing was done.

See how it works here?

Lowly, indeed but what if the kid doesn't have that type of relationship with a teacher? And no, it isn't too hard to wrap my head around anything - do you have problems wrapping your head around the fact that the parents here clearly didn't give the help and support this kid needed? If they would've, he wouldn't be dead.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I hate Japanese police!!! They do nothing and when someone does ask for help they make excuses not to do anything again!! Worthless disgrace!!! None of the ones I have met deserve to be police!!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

tmarie,

I've said all I can, and you're entitled to yr opinion, so I'll just say goodbye here. My whole point is there is no use vindictively blaming someone when you know nothing about the situation is all. (If you reread my 1st post you will be reminded I said "neglect is one possibility".) Especially a situation as complicated and emotionally charged as this one must've been. If you've wrapped your head around it, you're not showing it.

Anyway nice talking to you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lowly, but it is okay for everyone else to jump on the school, the teachers and the cops while they also are "vindictively blaming someone when they know nothing about the situation ..." Come on, works both ways.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

tmarie- Maybe what others said, but not me. You can reread my posts if you forgot.

Back to topic-

I hope the family gets their day in court.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As do I - but against the parents of the kids that bullied him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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