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Bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students is at “epidemic” levels in Japanese schools, exacerbated by government’s failure to institute effective policies, inadequate teacher training and strong gender segregation, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released Friday.

Titled “The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Down: LGBT Bullying and Exclusion in Japanese Schools,” the 84-page report said LGBT students routinely suffer harassment, threats and violence in a nation where prejudices against sexual minorities remain alive in the school yard.

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