National / Social Issues

Osaka high school basketball coach fired for battering student who killed himself

Kyodo

The Osaka municipal board of education fired a 47-year-old high school basketball team coach Wednesday for alleged violence against the club’s captain that led to the youth’s suicide in December.

The board said it took the action against Hajime Komura based on a report by an outside panel that stated the coach had slapped the 17-year-old boy in the face and head at least 20 times the day before the youth hanged himself on Dec. 23.

The coach at the city-run Sakuranomiya Senior High School also slapped the student several times on Dec. 18, the report said.

The slapping amounted to “violence” rather than corporal punishment and may have prompted the student to kill himself, it said.

Komura has claimed that he slapped the student in a bid to encourage him.

Earlier reports alleged the coach engaged in other violence against his charges.

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