A survey conducted by the Ministry of Education revealed that for fiscal year 2012, the number of reported bullying cases surged to 198,108, which is 2.8 times more than the numbers from the previous year. This is probably due to intensified efforts from authorities to encourage students and schools to report incidents of bullying to avoid incidents like serious injuries and suicide.
It was because of a suicide incident last year in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture that the ministry decided to conduct an emergency survey on bullying for the period of April to September 2012. They were able to confirm 144,000 cases and during the October-March period, another 54,000 was reported. This was a huge difference compared to the 70,000 cases that were brought to authorities in fiscal year 2011. The huge number is because of efforts from the education boards to use additional means to identify cases of bullying, which revealed other methods that peers and authority figures use against the students.
The report showed that more than half or 57.3% of the schools across the country had cases of bullying. 53.2 % of these 22,272 schools discovered these cases because of surveys they conducted among the students. The fiscal 2012 survey also asked for the number of cases that were brought to the police and they found out that only 913 or less than 1%, 5% to be exact, were escalated to that level. Fiscal 2012 also showed that a total of 196 students committed suicide and 6 of those cases were related to bullying.
They also tried to find out in the survey the number of students who have stopped attending classes. The numbers dropped to 4.1% (112,689) for elementary and junior high school students, while high school students’ numbers rose 2.3% (57,664). Understandably, the proportion was higher in the Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures, two of the hardest hit areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.
[ via Mainichi ]