City Admits Boy’s Suicide Over Bullying, Offers Settlement

An empty corridor at Ostu school, where a 13 year old boy killed himself due to bullying

Image source

According to the Asahi Shimbun, in the first half of 2012 more than 140,000 students in Japan faced bullying, almost 300 of which were cases of “serious” violence.

Not only is bullying a huge problem in Japan but it’s also dramatically under-addressed, with many victims feeling they can’t tell teachers, and some teachers even choosing to ignore bullying in their classrooms.

In a recent case in Otsu City, it took more than a year for the court to recognize that bullying was what prompted the 13 year old victim to commit suicide.

The news spread across the web where netizens were shocked to find that bullying is still so bad it causes children to take their own lives.

From Sankei MSN News:

“Bullying Recognized As Cause of Death” – Otsu City Asks For Formal Settlement

A fifth round of oral proceedings opened on the 5th in Otsu district Court (presided by Judge Hayabe Koya) where the parents of the boy in second year at the city middle school (13 at the time) who committed suicide in October 2011 sued three of their son’s classmates, their parents and the city 77,2 million yen in damages on the grounds that the cause of suicide was bullying. The lawyer representing the city stated “We recognize that there was an error based on a report written by an external inquiry. We want to discuss a settlement.”

They city asked for a formal settlement when their representative stated during the oral proceedings that: “the city recognizes they have a duty to pay damages of the link between the bullying and the cause of suicide and the city’s own errors”.

Otsu bullying incident school head and education board head

The school principal (centre) and the head of the education board (right) at an earlier press conference.

The plaintiffs said that “we were waiting impatiently for the report but we also felt that we should make our claim before that. We’ll need to consider a number of things now, including whether we should accept the city’s settlement.”

The first round of oral proceedings in May last year turned into an all-round fight, but in July, city mayor Koshi Naomi admitted that the city school board had not done a thorough enough investigation and set up a third party committee made up external experts to confirm whether the cause of suicide was the bullying. In the second round of oral proceedings during the same month, the city stated their desire to discuss a settlement after the end of the external investigation because “it was highly probable that the suicide would indeed be recognized as being linked to the bullying”.

Comments from Twitter:

i_nitoh ‏さん:

The problem student has not reflected on his actions, and the teacher has not apologized, have they?

ケロたま吉 ‏さん:

What did the classmate bully do? Did they fight or something?

おれきちゃん@淫獣 ‏さん:

Wha? (coercion)


Well, even if there is a settlement….

o-hara さん:

When Mayor Koshi Naomi said “If the school and the School Board had thoroughly done a survey before, it would not have taken this much time”, isn’t she just thinking: “I’m not the one at fault”?

弁護士奥村徹 さん:

Ishikawa Kenji, the lawyer representing the bereaved families, said “They have complete carte blanche on whether or not to accept the settlement. I looked at the full report from start to end, and though it was not a thorough investigation and we have nothing to do but acknowledge its value. Next time, I’ll file my case based on the report.” さん:

Rather than the city and all those other people, how are they punishing the bully? The court needs to order an extended prison stay and an enormous compensation paid to the victims to show the world just how much bullies pay for bullying.

日本国を中国・韓国から守りたい! ‏さん:

Their response is that of the worst city in the world! The city should be completely denounced! Let the municipal government and its Zainichi [Koreans] get the punishment they deserve! We absolutely cannot let this fade into the background! The Zainichi are killing Japanese kids, and these incidents are hidden within regional borders!

ひぃд`・@こすきどリョー♥ さん:

Don’t they need to consent to the settlement? If I were in their place, I definitely would not take it!


Can they really settle after killing someone? Being that insensitive reeks of of dirty gooks.

neatnao さん:

This incident involves the loss of a human life. I get that they want to completely cover it up though.

rem1187sps さん:

Can’t help thinking: they were initially concealing things, so is the point of this settlement to draw things to a close because they don’t want anyone to find out anything more? Soon, if people Tweet this incident, it will be tangled up with the left-wing. Scary scary!

さっちゃん ‏さん:

Weren’t there also reports saying the the classmate bully is even now continuing to claim that “I was only playing”?

牛猫 ‏さん:

If they want to settle, the mayor should also resign and the people in charge should be disposed of. If they don’t set this case apart, the same thing will just happen again.

cuts さん:

Once again a bullied kid has been pushed to suicide and the school and town have covered things up. Even if there is an offer to settle this time, if I were in their place I would not let them get away with too much…


They wasted tax money concealing this.

ほんだ/まこと さん:

I don’t feel quite right about the word “settlement” being used when the boy himself isn’t here.

PGM21 ‏さん:

Only recognizing compensation for the victims doesn’t arrest the initial culprit. They need to settle and correct this matter by, most of all, prosecuting the attacker.

三井寿里 FFF/イ9b 裁き/ほ20 ‏さん:

Wonder what the bully is thinking.


Crazy, asking to settle after killing someone ( ̄◇ ̄;)

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