11-Year Old Girl Found Dead In Apparent Suicide, Fukushima

Elementary school students going to school with their mother

The tragic news that a girl in the fifth grade of elementary school has been found dead in an apparent suicide quickly became the most read domestic news story on mixi news. The girl, who is from Fukushima Prefecture, was found by her parents at their home. No further details have been released.

This is not the first child suicide to have been reported in the Japanese media recently, with another notable case being that of a boy who threw himself from a window in his school building after a teacher had scolded him over his homework.

Netizens have responded with shock at the girl’s death, with many also pointing out that the fact that she was from Fukushima Prefecture, which has suffered enormously since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster, might be relevant. Other comments suggest that to blame it on Fukushima’s troubles negates the real reasons why children are driven to suicide.

From Asahi Shimbun:

Did A 5th Grade Girl Commit Suicide? Prefectural Police In Minamisoma, Fukushima, Investigate Situation

On the morning of September 22, it was discovered that a girl (11) from Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, who was in the fifth grade of elementary school had died at her home. A spokesperson for the school revealed during an interview on September 23 that they were looking at the possibility that the girl had committed suicide.

According to the municipal education committee, the family discovered that the girl had died on the morning of September 22. That afternoon, a report was made to the municipal education committee from the elementary school the girl had been attending. The school will explain the situation to parents and guardians at a school meeting to be scheduled after September 24.

According to the school spokesperson, “The girl had a bright personality, and had even participated in the class field trip on September 19”.

Comments from mixi News:

When I was a kid, my grandma used to say to me: “As you get older, your body finds it more difficult to heal, but your heart gets stronger. When you’re little, your body heals really quickly but it’s easy to hurt your heart”. Children’s hearts are precious!

Parents, siblings, friends, teachers, games, cell phones, running away…when there are so many different ways to escape, it really is the responsibility of the adults of this nation that a child would be forced to prefer death.

The good things will come. I really wish people wouldn’t think that it was all over.

You know, it’s sad but I’ve never seen anyone in the media stick to the WHO guidelines for reporting on suicide. “Don’t publish reports on suicide in conspicuous ways, and don’t report it excessively”. Isn’t it abominable for mixi News to put it on their front page?

I suppose she was one of those who survived the Tohoku Earthquake, so did something even worse than that happen to this child?

For a child to extinguish their own life, that’s really fake-happy Japan for you.

I bet the anti-nuclear crowd will say that it’s TEPCO and Abe’s fault that this girl died. But the most common cause of suicide in children is actually a rift between their parents. It’s a question of where do the parents come in the cause of suicide?

I wonder what happened? If she would go so far as to die, it must have been something really difficult for her.

Don’t just blame this on nuclear power. The parents are bad.

The poor little thing…She was still so young…wonder if it was bullying?

A fifth grader to do it themselves? It wasn’t an accident? It’s just so sad, my heart aches. I’m so shocked, even though I’ve only read news that’s about the child of someone I don’t know. If something like this happened to my child…no, I can’t even think about it. Makes me wonder if I’ll make them sleep in my room until they get to middle school.

She seemed like she had a bright personality….but that probably means she was desperate and trying too hard. You did your best. I hope that this time you get born into a life where you don’t suffer.

I’d never be able to recover if I’d witness my child hanging themselves or something like that…(>_<) Why do we live in a world where this kind of thing happens as a matter of course ~(/_;)

With that boy jumping from a school window before, although children’s suicides are nothing to do with me, it really breaks my heart. It must be really awful for the parents and those who were around her.

To everyone else she seemed happy, but on the inside she was so troubled. That’s just like me, don’t judge it on the face of things.

So the children of Japan, who are the future are Japan, feel so backed into a corner? Well, it was in Fukushima after all.

I carried on living even while I was thinking over and over again “I’m no good”. People have to live facing up to the things that trouble them. Don’t kill yourself, think your troubles over.

The better the person the easier they kill themselves. They blame themselves, they worry about their public image. To survive in this world you need to be more or less bad, gutsy, and tough.

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