The number of bullying cases involving students in Japan that led to individuals being probed by police hit 292 in 2023, a sharp rise from the previous year and the highest level in 10 years, police data showed Thursday.

The total cases among students of elementary, junior high and high schools increased by 116 from the year before, after the education ministry made a request last year for schools to work more closely with police on bullying-related incidents.

Of the 292 cases of bullying, assault was the most common with 102, followed by 60 involving bodily harm and 46 involving suspected violations of the child prostitution and pornography law.