Japanese children continue to kill themselves at ever earlier ages, the latest case being a 12-year-old girl who apparently opted to hurl herself to her death rather than face the prospect of not handing in her homework on time.
The incident occurred in Kumamoto city, where a 12-year-old girl in the 6th grade was found collapsed outside her home, having apparently thrown herself 7m down from a third floor window.
She survived the fall with severe injuries, but remains comatose in critical condition.
The attempt occurred the day before school recommenced after summer break, and she had just told her family that “I don’t want to go back to school as I haven’t finished my homework.” Police are investigating the case as a possible suicide.
There has been a certain amount of speculation as to just why she might have considered her homework a grave enough matter to kill herself over, assuming it is indeed the real reason she did not want to go back to school.
The school authorities claim she was not being bullied and that no bullying has been reported at their school this year – although this in itself is probably grounds for concern, particularly in light of the record of the nation’s schools in such matters.