The high rate of bullying in Japan leads to a high suicide rate among teenagers. A large contributing factor to this issue is how Japanese comedy and entertainment is based off of making fun of others, whether it is fat-shaming or remarks against different types of people.
Japanese comedians tend to be larger in figure or have some sort of comical appearance, therefore teaching Japanese citizens from a young age this style of comedy.
In Japanese schools, classmates and teachers often won’t make an effort to stop bullying. Teachers fail to resolve issues surrounding bullying and sometimes even contribute to the problem. A significant reason bullying doesn’t get resolved in schools is that the teachers don’t want their reputation tarnished. They don’t get involved in students’ lives, in order to prevent the community from knowing the issues that are under their noses. The education system doesn’t have anyone whom students can rely on to address their problems, whereas other countries have systems in place to comfort and protect students.
Japanese society has been shaped in a way where it is hard to express individuality. Many people conform to the structure of Japanese society. Therefore nonconformists tend to get picked on. To combat the issue of bullying, the Japanese government should implement systems to prevent and resolve bullying in schools and change the curriculum to raise students with a different mindset and more individuality. They should also change the entertainment industry in Japan as it has a large impact on society.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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