Five recent developments regarding bullying and suicide in Japan:

  • The death of an 18-year-old girl has shaken the city of Nagoya. The social media posts by Noa Tsukino, a former member of a minor idol group and known in some circles among the city’s youth, may have served as a warning and led to her getting the help she needed. Instead, Tsukino became another victim of cyberbullying in a country where such stories have become all too familiar, reports Kyodo.
  • Nike Japan is trying to address bullying in its latest ad. The commercial features Korean and Black students in Japan being teased at school, with Nike Japan saying we should all be proud of who we are. The ad drew ire from some on social media as critics said they would boycott the company, Reuters reports.
Noa Tsukino in Aichi Prefecture in September. She took her own life later that month. | COURTESY OF NOA TSUKINO'S MOTHER / VIA KYODO
Noa Tsukino in Aichi Prefecture in September. She took her own life later that month. | COURTESY OF NOA TSUKINO’S MOTHER / VIA KYODO
  • Can AI help Japan clamp down on bullying? That’s what nearly 30 local governments are planning to or are interested in, reports Kyodo. When a new case of bullying is reported, information on the incident, such as time, place and perpetrator, is fed into the system, which then searches its database to come up with an estimate of how serious the case is, expressed as a percentage.
  • In November, the internal affairs ministry compiled the final proposal for a legal procedure making it easier to fight online slander, reports Jiji. The proposal makes it simpler to request the disclosure of information on perpetrators of online abuse. It is aimed at alleviating the burden on the victims when they demand compensation.
  • You can help fight suicide in Japan, writes David Cortez. The nonprofit TELL, a service launched in Japan in 1973 as an English-language counseling hotline, hosted a fundraiser in November, but it is always looking for financial help or volunteers. Its 120 volunteers quickly shifted to a work-from-home infrastructure to handle all of the calls during the pandemic.