A junior high school girl from Tendo in Yamagata Prefecture, who committed suicide by jumping in front of a train earlier this month, apparently left a note at her home. The note suggested that the girl was a victim of bullying in school, the reason for her taking her own life.
The girl died immediately after being hit by the Tsubasa No. 128 Superexpress. Police said the incident happened at around 8 in the morning of January 7 and believes that she climbed over the fence measuring 1 meter high to enter the tracks. While the Tendo Municipal Board of Education said that no actual suicide note has been found and no confirmation on whether she was bullied, the municipal junior high school she attended will still conduct an investigation on the matter. A survey will be done to gather information on whether anyone witnessed her being bullied at the school. The municipal board will also create a fact-finding panel to find a connection between the apparent suicide and any bullying incidents she was involved in.
The incident is another indication of the rising number of bullying cases in Japanese schools, which sometimes leads to suicide. For 2012 alone, the number of cases was at 198,108, 2.8 times more than the previous year’s record. A number of suicide cases have also been linked to bullying. The Ministry of Education has since encouraged students and school authorities to report any incidents of bullying to prevent serious injuries, accidents or suicides caused by it.