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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 December 9 - 15  > State ordered to compensate victim for bullying at National Defense Academy
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2020 December 9 - 15 [SDF]

State ordered to compensate victim for bullying at National Defense Academy

December 10, 2020
The Fukuoka High Court on December 9 overturned a lower court ruling and ruled that the state is responsible for bullying committed at the National Defense Academy of Japan (NDA) and that it should pay 2.68 million yen in damages to a male plaintiff who resigned from the NDA because of the bullying.

The plaintiff in April 2013 joined the NDA which is a school for prospective officers of the Self-Defense Forces. However, he was forced to leave the academy after experiencing bullying and acts of violence, such as the burning of his body hair, from eight senior students under the guise of “giving guidance”. In 2016, he filed with the Fukuoka District Court a damage lawsuit against the eight students and the government.

In 2019, the district court issued a ruling accepting the plaintiff’s claim against his upperclassmen while rejecting his demand for state compensation. The former-NDA student appealed against the lower court rejection of his request for state compensation.

The appeals court overrode the original court decision and pointed out that the government should have prevented bullying and other acts of harassment at the NDA by such means as taking actions to find out what kind of “guidance” senior students give to junior students. It stated that the government has the obligation to compensate for the plaintiff’s damage.

At a rally held after the high court ruling, the ex-NDA student said, “I hope the government will abide by the high court judgement without appealing to the Supreme Court.”

Past related article:
> Ex-Defense Academy student wins compensation due to harassment by senior students [February 6, 2019]
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