Are there really Japanese criminal schools

More and more bullying registered in Japan's schools

A record number of cases of bullying were reported in Japan as early as 2018, but the number was exceeded again in 2019.

The cases of bullying recognized by elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and special schools in Japan rose by around 60,000 to a record 612,496 in the 2019 budget year, the Ministry of Education said on Thursday.

The number has risen for the sixth year in a row and has roughly tripled during this period, led by a sharp increase in cases in elementary schools, according to a survey by the ministry.

Schools have recognized cases of bullying as being proactive

The Promotion of Measures to Prevent Bullying Act came into effect in 2013 in response to a high profile case of bullying involving a boy from junior high school in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, who subsequently committed suicide. Fights and teasing are now counted as bullying incidents in accordance with the law.

"Schools have proactively identified cases of bullying in order to eliminate them," said a spokesman for the ministry. In the 2019 budget year, which ended in March of that year, cases of bullying in elementary schools rose by about 50,000 to 484,545. The number of bullying cases was 106,524 in elementary schools, 18,352 in middle schools and 3,075 in high schools.

Schools identified as bullying account for 82.6 percent of all schools in Japan, an increase of 1.8 percentage points. By type of bullying, mockery, teasing, and verbal abuse were the most common cases in elementary, middle, and high schools. The number of computer and cell phone bullying cases was significant in high schools.

Most of the cases have been cleared up

The survey also showed that 83.2 percent of identified bullying cases had been resolved by the end of the year. The number of cases of bullying detected per 1,000 students was highest in Miyazaki Prefecture at 122.4 and lowest in Saga Prefecture at 13.8.

The law obliges schools to investigate serious cases of bullying. The recognized number of such cases rose by 121 to a record 723. The number of elementary, middle and high school students who committed suicide fell by 15 to 317. Of these, 10 students were harassed, while 188 cases, the largest group, the motive could not be determined.