A new education ministry survey shows that elementary, junior high and high schools saw about 125,000 bullying cases in fiscal 2006 — up 6.2 times from 2005. The increase is mainly attributed to the ministry’s making the definition of bullying less strict.

The ministry has dropped descriptions such as “continual” and “serious” and put more emphasis on how victims of bullying feel. If they suffer emotionally from physical and psychological attacks from a person with whom they have a certain relationship, these attacks are now regarded as bullying.

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