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Nov 10, 2006

自殺「脅迫」手紙

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※追記:06.11.11(土) 関連記事 自殺予告手紙を書いた子は自殺しない
※追記:06.11.15(水) 関連記事 石原東京都知事をいじめる「いじめ自殺予告手紙」
※追記:06.11.16(木) 関連記事 「いじめ」と「自殺」は切り分けるべきだ

一昨日は「いじめられた本人」の立場から記事(「いじめ自殺予告手紙を書いた子へ」)を書いたが、今朝はあえて、少し突き放した、別の視点から気づいた点を書きとめる。

海外の記事を見ると、「日本の大臣が児童から自殺脅迫手紙を受取る」(Japan's minister gets student's letter threatening suicide / Gulfnews)、「『自殺警告』の日本の児童」(Japan pupil in 'suicide warning' / BBC)など、「自殺予告手紙」ではなく「自殺脅迫手紙」「自殺警告手紙」と解釈されているケースがある。文化が異なると「脅迫」に感じるということだ(記事本文は配信された事実経過を淡々と述べたものだが)。

海外の記事を隠れ蓑にする気はない。私の第一印象も「非常に効果的な脅迫文」だった。『実はこれ、電通と博報堂のコピーライターが共同で制作した厚生労働省の自殺抑止策第一弾で、リストラ中高年の自殺抑止がターゲットの第二弾が制作の大詰めを迎えています』と想像させるくらい、秀逸な手法だ。

問題の手紙は「告発文」でなければ「威力業務妨害」かもしれない。「自殺」そのものは「犯罪」ではないが、全国的に与えた影響は大きい。匿名で出したことで、日本全国のいじめ現場に対し影響を及ぼすこととなったからだ。

大臣宛の手紙が国内でこれだけ騒がれる。海外でも取り上げられている。褒め言葉が良いのか、「脅迫」という手段を揶揄する方が良いのか、なんともいえない。

※以下、本文で紹介した記事全文の引用:


http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/06/11/08/10080693.html

Published: 11/08/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)

Japan's minister gets student's letter threatening suicide
Reuters

Tokyo: Japan's education minister has received a letter apparently written by a student threatening to commit suicide because he was being bullied, prompting an appeal to local officials to track down the troubled boy.

A series of suicides by students due to bullying has gripped public attention in recent weeks, just as debate heats up on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proposed reform of the education system - a key plank in his conservative policy agenda.

"This is a matter of life or death, so the education ministry will deal with it swiftly," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a news conference yesterday. "We want him to treat as precious the life received from his parents and ancestors."

In the letter, which Japanese media said appeared to be from a male elementary or junior high school student, the author said appeals to teachers and parents for help had gone unheard. "I am writing this letter because living is painful," said the letter whose text Japanese newspapers carried.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/asia-pacific/6124646.stm

Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 16:29 GMT
Japan pupil in 'suicide warning'

Japan's education ministry has published a letter purportedly from a school pupil threatening suicide on Saturday if he continues to be bullied.
The Japanese education minister received a package of letters from the child anonymously on Monday.

The ministry has asked education boards across the country to check whether any pupils in their district have problems similar to those described.

The contents of the letter have been published in Japanese newspapers.

It is hard to tell whether this is a genuine cry for help or not but the ministry is taking no chances, says the BBC's Chris Hogg in Tokyo.

At a news conference on Tuesday, chief cabinet secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki stressed how seriously the threat was being taken.

'Living is painful'

"This is a matter of life and death," he told Reuters news agency.

"We want him (the pupil) to treat as precious the life received from his parents and ancestors."

The package sent to the ministry included letters intended for the education minister, the child's bullies and his parents.

In the letter addressed to Japan's Education Minister Bunmei Ibuki, the pupil - who is believed to be a boy - complains that he is being bullied and those responsible have not been punished.

"I am writing this letter because living is painful," the letter said.

"If nothing has changed by Wednesday, 8 November, I will commit suicide."


"You have only one life and that life is not yours alone."
Bunmei Ibuki

Japanese Education Minister

In a note to the bullies the boy asks why they are picking on him. Another note addressed to a teacher asks why they will not help him.

Postmark identification

Also in the package were other notes to officials, a school principal, and to the boy's own parents. To them he says simply: "I am sorry."

None of these letters gives enough information to identify the pupil.

All the authorities have to go on is one character on the postmark, which could help to narrow down the search for him.

Education boards have been put on alert across the country in the hope they can prevent him carrying out his threat.

At Tuesday's press conference, Mr Ibuki made a personal plea to the child, saying the child's life was not his alone to take.

"Your mother and father brought you into this world, holding you in their arms," he said.

"I want you to understand that you are not being left alone."

Bullying is a real problem in Japan. Three bullied teenagers have taken their own lives in Japan since August.

The authorities have been trying to come up with ways to tackle the problem, but they are not finding it easy.


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