School bullying cases hit record high in Japan in FY2018


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It's great thatvthey are identifying cases more quickly. What are they doing to address the root cause? Bullying is a natural result of the sempai/kouhai nonsense.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Not so much as identifying, but acknowledging and reporting the cases in a timely manner. Used to be a time where too much bullying was going on, and while "everyone" knew about it, including teachers and parents, nothing was ever done.

Teachers, BOEs and everyone else in positions of authority are loathe to have to step in front of any cameras to report about a bullying issue.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Not so much as identifying, but acknowledging and reporting the cases in a timely manner.

Agreed. Far more accurate than my first sentence.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Many people don't want the bad press that comes with bullying. For many things, a lack of acknowledgement means it doesn't exist in Japan. So many schools don't report it. Bullying cases that become public can now sink schools. There was a huge bullying case in Kobe recently where a group of elementary school boys forced a girl to take off all of her clothes. Even now, many parents in my parenting circle are still waiting to hear the name of the school so they can avoid sending their child to that school.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The teachers bully each other, and those are designated anti bulling mentors. So the kids are trapped in a cycle. Like an alter boy/girl the ones you trust are the ones who abuse.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

A total of 332 students committed suicide in the reporting period, up 82. Nine of them involved bullying.

This is interesting. There was a sharp increase in the number of youth suicides, but only very few of them involved bullying. It would seem the are much deeper reasons why students are killing themselves.

Bullying in Japanese schools starts with the teachers. The use intimidation, ridicule and straight up violence as discipline. This video shows a very good example. This was because the kid didn't do his homework.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I've said this before many times. The way to deal with school bullying, chikan and pawa-hara is by reforming the judicial system so that parents, workers or ordinary people can sue the bejesus out of these failed institutions. Trust me, 2 heavy lawsuits for tens of millions will make any school director, no matter how incompetent he is, deal with the situation promptly. You hit the train company for several millions and they will find a way to deal with the grouping issue. Sue a corporation for power harassment few times, and you'll be amazed at how quickly they change their behavior. The fear of a lawsuit is a very powerful tool.

0 ( +4 / -4 )


You can't sue the train company for perverts. Furthermore, its not their job to deal with them. That is a crime so it comes down to the legal system and the authorities. As for school bullying, a heavy lawsuit would force change. If you can sue the train company for perverts, that sets a dangerous precedent as many people will do that. Also, there will be a huge increase in false cases as well. Lastly, who do you think ends up paying for these lawsuits? The end-user does. That means our prices will increase for an already expensive transit system.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think we have to be realistic and nuanced about this.

Elementary and junior high school kids bullying is usually verbal teasing that is just part of the nature of being kids. This needs a two pronged approached. Teachers and parents must discourage it, teach kids empathy and caring and punish appropriately when necessary. They ought to also teach kids to be resilient and to be able to develop a tough spirit that can just brush off such words. Serious ongoing cases and physical bullying would require stronger measures.

By senior high school the kids ought to be old enough to not be engaging in bullying of any sort and suspension from school and confinement to parent's home for a few days, or a parent being required to accompany the student all day at school for a few days ought to fix most problems. Ongoing serious problems or violence need tougher measures of course.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Most of all, from the time they are toddlers, children should be taught to love, care for and respect their siblings and peers. Us parents must set the example. Are we kind, respectful, always speaking well of others, and community minded? If so, our kids are likely to follow. Monkey see monkey do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is no surprise that bullying occurs as schools focus on preparing students for years of intensive study placing students in a n ultra competitive environment,.

And it is it just not students bullying students that is the problem.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Even though the number of children is going down?

Bullying seems to be part of the culture, be it at school, the workplace, or in sports.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

IMO opinion "The number of "serious" bullying cases, involving things like broken bones and being absent from school for 30 days or longer a year, rose to a record 602, up 128, it said." broken bones? , that is beyond bullying and more leaning towards physical assault by legal definition. Absentia from school is not bullying, and besides it builds character that either your weak and won't survive or beef up to get your place.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Of the some 540,000 cases, 425,844 involved elementary schools, up 108,723, according to the survey.

Bullying cases at junior high schools stood at 97,704, up 17,280, and those for high schools came to 17,709, up 2,920. Those at special schools totaled 2,676 cases, up 632.

And that is just the students. I wonder what the figures would look like if they included staff as well.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The out-dated Senpai and kōhai relationship is a major factor in many bullying cases. From what I have witnessed in the last 20 years, bullying almost appears institutionalized (in Japan) to me. Outside of school, I would love to know the number of bullying cases (reported and the much, much larger unreported number) that occur in the workplace too.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

In my experience the numbers quoted tend to be WAY TO LOW so 543,933 realistically is likely double to 4times higher!

Also the number of ELEMENTARY students bullying is insanely HIGH, seems they are being ""well"" indoctrinated in the DARK side of being Japanese....! Scary stuff!!

Bullying seems to be part of the culture, be it at school, the workplace, or in sports.

Pukey2, sadly bullying IS INTEGRAL  to being Japanese!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Now take into consideration that these are the only ones that were noted and not those that were left unaccounted for. I wish they could also compile bullying cases among adults, that should be more interesting. I agree with the comments above that a hefty lawsuit might force them to change as well as taking a softer approach in discouraging power play in all levels of society. I've been bullied throughout by elementary years but thank God teachers were quick to deal with jerks

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unfortunately bullying is part of Asian culture. This is not only in Japan, It's the same in China, Vietnam, Korea ...I grew up in Vietnam in the late 90's, early 2000. Being bullied (by teachers) happened everyday. Many teachers were super nice, but many others would "torture" you mentally, physically & financially. . Don't know if it's better now about the teachers in Vietnam. On the contrary while I was in school, my fellow Vietnamese kids did not bully each other much, they mostly worked together to deal with the horrible teachers.

Vietnamese middle & high school programs were at much advanced levels compared to the US. I graduated from a relatively well-known private university in New York and it was like a vacation compared to high school in Vietnam.

It's a good thing the bullying usually stopped when you reach adulthood in Vietnam and join the workforce. But I heard it continues in Japan, China & S.Korea.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

i,ve said this before, the whole senpai thing is, imo, too extreme. in any other country, we say: you want respect, you earn it. you respect me, i respect you, no matter how old you are or if you,re some CEO. in Japan, this doesn,t exist. since they,re born, Japanese people are ALWAYS reminded to respect older people or people in a higher position, no matter what. in Japan it,s more like: i,m older / i,m your superior and don,t disrespect me EVEN if i disrespect you. that is not healthy and it can lead to many things. people become emotionally unstable, unhappy, angry. if this is part of Japanese society (adults bullying each other), of course kids are gonna be bullies (on one side) and scared (emotionally stuck and blocked) individuals (on the other) and there,s no way to stop it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japanese people are bullied throughout their whole lives. Even the vending machines tell you what to do.

However, the really scary thing about this article is the large increase in youth suicide, but very few are bullying related. What is causing so many young teenagers to kill themselves.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Restorative justice is a system to address the circle of violence. But it's not intuitive and many people go with their gut (often unproductive). How to counter the punishing bullying? With something better that addresses harms and identifies causes and obligations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Imagine the numbers if ‘bullying in the workplace’ was recorded.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@JJ Jetplane

Anybody can sue anybody for anything. At least that would be the case if Japan had a good working judicial system. The train companies are private businesses. If you have been abused or wronged in some way inside the premises of a private business, you can hold them accountable for allowing this to happen. This will not be a bad precedent, but a very good one. Businesses and institutions must be liable for what happens inside their premises. When someone feels liable, they tend to be extra cautious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many here got it right, especially Crikey. Teachers who bully other teachers should be fired. Workplace bullying, etc. No wonder kids bully so much.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Elementary and junior high school kids bullying is usually verbal teasing that is just part of the nature of being kids. 

Yes, that is right because the Japanese word "ijime", what this article is actually talking about, not the English word "bullying", includes both teasing and bullying.

The dangerous one in Japan is that a lot of verbal ijime is passive-aggressive tactics like exclusion from the group, silent treatment, gaslighting, etc. which are much more damaging than name-calling.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Back some years ago my wife was the captain of the HS volleyball team.

If the coach didn't like the performance of the team he would have her place her hands to the side and spike the ball at her, intentionally at her face. This led her to leave the team.

Most of the other kids would pass down that punishment to the one under them....

I wonder where it all comes from.

4 ( +4 / -0 )


18  06:33 26 

543,933 2018 31.3 80.8 6.4 30 602128

540,000 425,844 108,723 97,704 17,280 17,709 2,920. 2,676 632.

50 70

3,70216,334 20

332 82. Nine

72,940 9,615.

8,221 to 36,536.

Ooooh look. numbers!

Soooo, is anything being to solve this serious national issue?

Or are they just going to continue to record numbers and write articles about it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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