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Japan: Boy driven to suicide wasn't helped by teachers

Otsu's mayor launched a probe into the death of a 13-year-old who killed himself last year after months of bullying.

Japan boy suicide bullying otsu july 6 2012Enlarge
The mayor of Otsu, Japan said on July 6, 2012 that an investigation would be launched into the bullying that might have led to a 13-year-old boy committing suicide in October of last year. (YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images)

The mayor of Otsu, Japan, said on Friday that she would launch an investigation into a teenager's suicide last year, after a survey revealed that he had suffered months of bullying without help from teachers, said ABC News.

Mayor Naomi Koshi said, "I cannot apologize to the students enough," after she calling the city's board of education's survey "inadequate."

The unnamed 13-year-old boy from southern Japan, who killed himself last October, suffered systematic bullying according to the survey conducted among 15 students. He was forced to "practice" his suicide, according to the Japan Daily Press. Information from the survey was never shared in a news conference in November of last year.

ABC News reported that one of the boy's last actions was to text his bullies, saying, "I am going to die." They responded, "You should die."

The anonymous survey showed that bullying of the boy had escalated to "punching and kicking" by September, a month before his death.

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ABC News wrote: "The victim was pressured into shoplifting, had his legs and arms tied while bullies duck-taped his mouth. Students watched as their peers pressured the teen into eating dead bees, 'pantsed' him, and made him 'practice' committing suicide."

According to the survey, when teachers were told of the bullying, they only verbally reprimanded the bullies but then laughed as the bullying continued.

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The boy's parents are suing three students and their parents, as well as the Otsu Municipal Government, in the local district court, seeking damages of 77.2 million yen ($966,235), according to Japan Daily Press.

Japanese newspaper The Mainichi also reported that police allegedly refused to accept a damage report on bullying in the case on three separate occasions, from the boy's father. The Otsu Police Station said the police did not accept the reports because they could not verify any criminal acts connected to the bullying.

The boy's father reportedly went to the police twice in October and once in December but was told that it would be difficult to establish a case against the bullies because his son was already dead. The boy also left no suicide note, making it harder to connect the bullying to his suicide.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/120706/japan-boy-bullied-suicide-otsu-investigation