• Kyodo

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The government Tuesday compiled an outline for antisuicide measures, focusing in particular on suicides by young people caused by school bullying in the wake of a high-profile incident last October in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, in which a 13-year-old student killed himself.

The outline stresses the need for schools, boards of education and households to share information on bullying and cooperate in developing a quick response.

It says a third-party panel, rather than schools and boards of education, should examine bullying-related suicides and obtain detailed information if the family members of the victim request it.

In the Otsu case, the board of education and the junior high school have been criticized for initially failing to admit a link between the boy’s suicide and bullying by classmates despite several students reporting in a school survey conducted after his death that bullies had forced him to “practice” killing himself.

Any child or any school can face bullying problems, the outline says, and the government is determined “to tackle the issue continuously and in a mid- and long-term manner to prevent bullying beforehand or to immediately detect and solve it.”

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