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Over half of LGBT people in Japan bullied in school: survey

More than half of LGBT people in Japan were bullied in school and nearly 70 percent of them said their teachers did not help them at all, a survey suggests.

    The results of the survey by Yasuharu Hidaka, a professor of social epidemiology at Takarazuka University School of Nursing in Osaka, clearly show that proper knowledge and information have not fully spread at schools, and that teachers have been unable to deal with these teenagers' concerns.

    Commissioned by Lifenet Insurance Co., Hidaka conducted the survey online and about 15,000 people in their teens to 90s responded. According to the survey, 58 percent of them replied that they had suffered bullying while in elementary, junior high and high school. Twenty-one percent said they had refused to go to school at one time or another.

    When asked if teachers had helped them solve bullying, 13 percent said yes while 67 percent said no.

    While in school, 68 percent of the respondents said they did not learn about homosexuality, the survey found. Five percent said they learned it as being abnormal, 17 percent received negative information about homosexuality and 7 percent received positive information.

    Overall, 10 percent of respondents had engaged in self-injurious behavior. Thirty-two percent underwent counseling and visited psychiatrists due to depression and insomnia.

    The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry sent out a notice to education boards across Japan in 2015, asking them to properly care for sexual minorities in schools. A 2015 survey by Dentsu Inc., Japan's leading ad agency, found that one in every 13 people belongs to a sexual minority.

    Hidaka says, ''There is surely a higher proportion of those from sexual minorities among victims of bullying and truant pupils and students. I want schools to take action to protect children in distress.''

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