The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan on March 16 revised the nation’s basic policy for preventing bullying based on the Act on Promotion of Bullying Prevention Measures.
The ministry notified education boards nationwide of the new policy, which includes measures against bullying of young evacuees from radiation-hit Fukushima and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
The policy also stipulates that if schools fail to ensure teachers exchange information, they could violate the act. This was prompted by a series of suicides committed by students owing to insufficient information sharing among teachers. Under the new policy, schools are required to create a manual for preventing bullying.
The act, which took effect in 2013, stipulates that detailed measures need to be reviewed three years after the enforcement.
The new policy points out that special consideration is needed for bullying regarding (1) developmental disorder and other disabilities, (2) children of foreign nationals, (3) gender identity disorder, sexual orientation, and gender identity, (4) evacuation following the major earthquake in northern Japan in 2011 and the ensuing nuclear accident in Fukushima.
It also calls for understanding and assistance on the part of school staff, and raising the awareness of other students. (Abridged)