Japan panel adopts basic policy on school bullying

A Japanese education ministry panel on Friday adopted a basic policy to deal with and prevent bullying at school, calling on local governments to include external experts in new local antibullying bodies The law to promote measures to prevent bullying, which took effect last month, allows members from schools, its education board and other organizations. (newsonJapan.com)

Under pressure from multiple high-publicity incidents that show just how prevalent bullying is in Japanese schools, Japan has just put into effect an anti-bullying law that outlines the responsibilities of school and administrative authorities in protecting students from this phenomenon. The law went into effect on Sep. 28, through the central government has yet to complete and sent out basic guidelines for the laws execution and application.

The upper house of Japan’s National Diet, the House of Councillors (official website) on Friday gave final approval to legislation aimed at combating bullying. The law defines bullying that causes serious mental or physical harm as “serious”. Under the new legislation, schools must report serious cases to the appropriate governmental bodies and set up investigative panels. The law also requires the government to monitor for online bullying activity. The bill was passed in response to a series of bullying incidents in Japan, including a 2011 case that resulted in a student committing suicide.

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