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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 6 - 12  > Ex-Defense Academy student wins compensation due to harassment by senior students
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2019 February 6 - 12 [SDF]

Ex-Defense Academy student wins compensation due to harassment by senior students

February 6, 2019

The Fukuoka District Court on February 5 issued a ruling recognizing that a plaintiff, who is a National Defense Academy (NDA) student, was driven into staying away from school due to bullying and harassment by seven senior students. It also ordered the seven students to pay a total of 950,000 yen in compensation to the plaintiff.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff testified that soon after admission to the academy, he was subjected to bullying and assaults from eight upperclassmen, including the burning of his body hair. Furthermore, he was harassed in various ways such as receiving photos via the message app, LINE, which portrayed him as deceased. The plaintiff sued for about 14 million yen in damages from the eight students.

At a rally held after the ruling, the former NDA student appreciated the court ordering the seven students to pay compensation, while showing his unsatisfaction at the amount of damages. He also said, “I’m happy that my fight in court revealed the actual situation of bullying and harassment at the NDA (which trains officer candidates of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces).” He expressed his determination to make the best use of this court ruling in his other court battle for state compensation.

The plaintiff’s legal team cited that the NDA in its education policy employs an instructional system encouraging senior students to give “advice” to junior students living in dormitories. The lawyers’ group said that the court acknowledges that the eight students abused the instructional system and conducted illegal acts of bullying and violence. The lawyers, however, criticized the court for unfairly excluding one of the eight students from having to pay compensation.

Past related articles:
> Bullying at Defense Academy reflects SDF's 'order and obedience' concept [July 25, 2018]
> Defense Academy student sues his upperclassmen for bullying [August 8, 2014]

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