NARA -- Nara Ikuei Junior and Senior High School principal Masahiko Uema stepped down from his position on July 31, taking responsibility for corporal punishment and inappropriate coaching of the school's soccer club that he supervised, it has been learned.
According to the Nara Prefectural Government and the school, last summer, Uema singled out certain students to practice stopping soccer balls kicked from point-blank range. Another male coach also reportedly started to grab students by the collar and shoved them around or slapped them since the 2016 academic year. Students who were not members of the club reported the actions this June.
The school is run by operator Nara Ikuei Gakuen, and its soccer team has made it to the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament 13 times. Many players also go on to join J-League teams. Uema became the club coach in 1983, and became principal of the institution in 2012.