Court orders ex-classmates to pay Y38.5 mil for bullying-induced suicide in Shiga
Japan Today -- Feb 20
A Japanese court on Tuesday ordered two former classmates of a junior high school student -- who killed himself in 2011 -- to pay damages totaling about 37.5 million yen, acknowledging that their bullying led to his death.

The focal point of the trial at the Otsu District Court was whether they had bullied the 13-year-old boy, and if there was a causal link between bullying and his death.

The bereaved family had claimed the boy was driven to death by bullying and sought a total of 38.5 million yen from three former classmates and their parents.

However, the court denied the third former classmate was liable to pay compensation, citing his lack of involvement. As for the defendants' parents, it found no breach of supervisory duties.

"The assault by the two former classmates had escalated and as the student's relations with friends collapsed...he felt a strong sense of isolation and started to think he wanted to die," Presiding Judge Shigeyasu Nishioka said in handing down the ruling.

During the hearing, the family argued there had been "harsh bullying," with the former classmates forcing the boy to eat a dead bee and constantly telling him to die.

The defendants admitted some actions they were accused of by the family, but claimed they had thought they were just playing together.

News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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