Bullying reports rise amid stronger effort by schools, ministry says


Bullying cases reported by elementary schools hit a record 122,721 in the 2014-2015 school year, up by 3,973 from a year earlier, according to an education ministry survey released Tuesday.

Combining elementary, junior high and high schools, the total number of bullying reports stood at 188,057 for the year to March, up 2,254 from the previous year, the ministry said.

The study found a dramatic rise in reports involving younger children. Compared with the 2010-2011 school year, the figure for elementary schools was 5.8 times higher for first-graders and 4.3 times higher for second-graders.

The ministry attributed the increase to greater efforts by schools to tackle and report bullying, praising them for “acting quickly to catch even the light cases.”

The figure for elementary schools was up by 3,973 from the previous year, while that for junior highs stood at 52,969, down 2,279, and for high schools at 11,404, up 365.

Bullying was detected at 56.5 percent of all schools.

In response to a multiple-answer question regarding types of bullying, ridicule and slander topped the list at 121,248 cases. Cases of online defamation via computers or mobile phones were down 890 from the previous year’s record high to 7,898, but the ministry said it was having difficulty determining the full picture of online bullying because harassment via phone apps such as Line are hard to detect.

Meanwhile, the ministry said the number of bullying cases per 1,000 students increased in 34 prefectures.

Violent acts resulting in physical and psychological damage — or “serious cases” as stipulated in a 2013 law aimed at preventing bullying — totaled 156, down 23 from the last school year.

Close to 100 percent of the schools said they had set up an investigative panel to examine bullying cases as of Oct. 1, as required by law.

A ministry official, however, said the panels need to be closely monitored, citing a case in which a panel did not respond adequately prior to a suicide involving a male high school student in July in Yahaba, Iwate Prefecture.

Following the suicide, the ministry asked schools and local boards of education in August to conduct an additional survey after their first tally in June, and they turned up an additional 30,000 cases.

  • Hendrix

    Bullying is part of the culture in Japan, just look at the whole senpai kohai routine… if someone is just 6 months older than you and he tells you to kiss his shoes every morning then you oblige or get set upon, the teachers just turn a blind eye… ive seen it for myself many many times working in junior high school in Japan… what did the teachers do? , nothing…. then it carries on right into the workplace with ” power hara” as they call it in japan.

    • doninjapan

      “Bullying is part of the culture in Japan”.
      Newsflash dude, bullying happens in schools world-wide. It is no less prevalent elsewhere.
      The same goes with “power hara”…

      • Hendrix

        yeah we know that, duh… point is that worlwide teachers will do something about it or its stamped out, in jpn they turn a blind eye… whats next? you gonna tell me “if you dont like it just go back to your country” ..?

      • doninjapan

        Wow… bit of a petulant response.
        Who’s this “we” you speak of? In the royal sense, or do you assert that you speak for everyone?

        Are you really stating that “it’s stamped out” everywhere else other than Japan? That’s… one hell of an assertion.

        Bullying IS a problem in Japan, and one that they must deal with. But it’s also a problem in the US, in Australia, in England – ad infinitum. The salient point is that it’s not something that Japan’s dealing with in a vacuum.

  • Jeffrey

    “. . . but the ministry said it was having difficulty determining the full picture of online bullying because harassment via phone apps such as Line are hard to detect.”

    Why does this even happen? Unless you agree to an online relationship with someone how can he or she be bullying you? Unless you “Friend” someone or allow them to access your Instagram page or your Line account, how can they harass you? You can’t stop them from talking trash on other peoples’ accounts, but you can control direct contact and if anyone is allowing someone to harass you on his or her site, that person isn’t a friend either.

  • Anil Samal

    The problem is not what is visible. It’s some where else.

    . The education system, which promote student irrespective of they attend school or pass exam.
    . The Japanese who wear a very polite and respectful mask, do not know how to give respect to Parents, teachers.
    . Most of the adult movies shows the relationship between teacher and JK.
    . The society promotes child prono in the name of JK and Pop culture.
    . Teachers teach less, do official work more. Its a school not an office!

    All these are the the main problem for a student not to be a student.