This year All Japan newsese students faced 2.8 times more cases of school bullying compared to the reported number of cases last year. Thus, a reported number of 198,108 students were bullied in 2013, compared to the 70,000 cases reported in 2012, according to the education ministry.
The increased number of reported cases was attributed by the ministry to the intensified efforts by schools to learn of and report bullying.
Officials conducted an emergency survey on bullying from April to September 2012 following the suicide of a male high school student in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, and confirmed some 144,000 cases. The number reported in the following October-March period was about 54,000, according to Kyodo, cited by the local press.
The survey of all 38,846 schools across All Japan news, including elementary, junior high, high school and special needs schools, 22,272, or 57.3 percent, said they found bullying cases.
Of those 22,272 schools, 53.2 percent said they came to know of the bullying through surveys they conducted on their own, up from 28.3 percent the year before.
For the first time, the fiscal 2012 survey asked for the number of bullying cases reported to police. The number came to 913, some 0.5 percent of the total reported cases.
The survey also found that the proportion was greater in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which were devastated by the March 2011 disasters, than in other prefectures.