Japan’s government last week enacted a bill that forbids bullying at elementary, junior high and senior high schools, in the attempt of stopping the serious increase of bullying cases that have occurred in the country.
The law was voted in favor by the ruling coalition and other opposition parties at a plenary session in the upper house, according to the international press.
According to the new bill, bullying that leads to serious physical or mental trauma to children or makes them be absent for a long period of time is defined as a “serious case”.
Under the law, schools are required to report confirmed serious cases to the education ministry and local government. Next, the case is to be investigated by the school and education boards to obtain details.
Local and central governments are also required to monitor online bullying and cooperate with police if bullying activities are considered to be criminal, the new law states.
In October 2011, a second-grade student at a junior high school in Otsu, Shiga prefecture committed suicide after being severely bullied for a long period of time.