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November 14, 2006

Principal Takes Own Life as Suicide Alerts Continue

Bullying has been a widespread problem at Japan's educational institutions for a long time, but has recently been forced to the top of the public's consciousness as a result of several news items involving suicides reportedly resulting from students being bullied by peers. The latest casualty involved a school administrator: the principal of a school in Kitakyushu hung himself after being accused of misreporting a case of bullying at his school. He reported the apparent extortion of 100,000 yen from a fifth grade student as merely being "financial trouble", rather than bullying.

Meanwhile, all 31 primary and secondary schools in the Toshima Ward of Tokyo remained on alert Monday for a possible suicide attempt by a student of one of the schools. The watch started after a suicide letter was mailed to Education, Science and Technology Minister Bunmei Ibuki last week. The anonymous writer said that he or she would take his or her own life over the weekend as a result of bullying. A postmark on the envelope let investigators to believe the letter may have been sent from Toshima.

Read a related article at the Daily Yomiuri

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