Japan: 70% of LGBT pupils bullied in school, 30% contemplate suicide

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A new study in Japan has revealed 30% of LGBT school pupils have considered suicide after suffering from some of the highest rates of bullying in the country.

The Japan Times reports this is the first large-scale study of its kind in the country.

The report comes after a UK study found similar statistics, with an estimated 80% of LGBT students bullied because of their sexuality. 

Conducted by Inochi Risupekuto Howaito Ribon Kyanpen (IRHRK) (which translates as “the life respect white ribbon campaign”), the survey was completed by 609 pupils across the Kanto region of Japan.

Roughly 70% of sexual minorities have experienced bullying in school, with 30% of those saying they have considered suicide because of it.

Of the 68% who said that they had experienced bullying, 53% were verbally abused whilst roughly 20% experienced physical bullying.

11% of the sample said they had suffered sexual abuse, such as having their clothes taken off by classmates.

The report also revealed that although most of the bullies were classmates, 12% said they had been bullied by teachers, some for even over a year.

Almost one third (32%) of the survey said they had thought of taking their own lives, with a further 22% reportedly self-harming because of the bullying.

Transgender students suffered from the most prolonged bullying episodes, with 43% saying they were victimised for more than five years.

Mameta Endo, co-leader of the Tokyo-based IRHRK, urged schools to send a positive message about LGBT pupils.

“More teachers need to know the issues LGBT (pupils) are facing. As most bullying starts at elementary schools, I want teachers to provide children correct information about sexual minorities.

“Schools need to find ways to teach students about LGBT (pupils) to prevent those who don’t match stereotypical ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ gender types from being bullied,” Ms Endo said.