Appeal To Kyodo News From A Cram School Manager In Nagasaki (16)
2023.08.23 10:23 Nanami Nakagawa
Kyodo News reporter Yoichi Ishikawa was isolated in the company.
Ishikawa’s boss, colleagues, and labor union did not try to help him even when he was put before an examination committee for criticizing the Nagasaki Shimbun in his book, “The Sanctuary of Bullying,” published by Bungeishunju.
However, one person sent a written opinion to the examination committee of Kyodo News.
That was Dai Sasaki, who runs a cram school in Nagasaki City.
A copy of Dai Sasaki’s written opinion to Kyodo News (Provided by Dai Sasaki)
Educational administration based on the principle of “not rocking the boat”
On January 10, 2023, Dai Sasaki wrote an opinion piece on the “The Sanctuary of Bullying” in the corner of the cram school he runs in Nagasaki City. He worked on it throughout the new year and finally finished it.
The address said, “To Kyodo News.” At the outset, he explained the gist of his opinion.
I would like to express my opinion about the book. In Nagasaki, the release of this book has two meanings. One is that the details of the unprecedented reality of Kaisei Gakuen High School’s continued refusal of the third-party committee’s report were documented in the form of a book. The other is that the readers were able to objectively see the habitual collusion between the administration and the media, which created the breeding ground for this situation. In particular, the responsibility of the local media, which has lost its ability to criticize soundly, is particularly significant, and I would like to report this together with my assessment of this book, which dared to transmit this truth.
Sasaki was born and raised in Nagasaki. After he finished high school, he moved to Tokyo and entered a university in Tokyo. After he graduated, he worked for a publishing company in Tokyo for 29 years. In 2017, he returned to his hometown of Nagasaki and opened a cram school. 30 elementary, junior high, and high school students are taken care of and taught by students attending Nagasaki University. There are also students from Kaisei Gakuen.
What surprised Sasaki when he started taking care of the children in Nagasaki was that the educational community in Nagasaki did not prioritize the children and was closed off.
I frequently visited elementary, junior high, and high schools to protect the children of Nagasaki from the outdated teachers who neglect the human rights of children and restrict students with school rules and grade distribution. I made many inquiries to the prefectural and city board of education, but five years have passed without much improvement due to the “not rocking the boat principle” and prevalence of familiarity, both of which are often mentioned in this book.
Sasaki and Ishikawa met in November 2020. It all started when Ishikawa wrote a scoop article about Hayato Fukuura’s suicide case, “Kaisei High School Camouflaged Suicide as ‘Sudden Death,’ and Nagasaki Prefecture Confirmed it. Suspicion of Violating National Guidelines.”
Sasaki read Ishikawa’s article and thought, “Well done, you uncovered the truth!”
A university classmate was working at Kyodo News. Sasaki contacted the friend and asked him to introduce him to Ishikawa. The friend said to Sasaki, “He’s a journalist with guts, which is rare in Kyodo News, so please take care of him,” and introduced Ishikawa.
Positive response from private school administrators
Sasaki was surprised when he heard from Ishikawa about the series of incidents surrounding Hayato’s suicide. He read the book, and he sympathized with the content, and the reactions of others around him were positive. He also wrote in his opinion that he received feedback on Ishikawa’s book from two administrators of a private junior and senior high school in the prefecture.
Both of them do not see it simply as a Kaisei problem and take it with a sense of ownership that it is an important matter that all educators in Nagasaki should face.
“I will buy it. And will take it as a warning. I am reminded every day to prevent bullying and be careful of what teachers say and do.”
“I bought the book on Amazon and finished reading it immediately. I have been visiting Yokohama and other places since Saturday and I saw the book was on sale. It was very well written.”
Nonetheless, Sasaki was convinced when he learned that Kyodo News’ investigation of Ishikawa was in response to a protest from the Nagasaki Shimbun. Sasaki himself had a bitter experience with the Nagasaki Shimbun.
On February 10, 2021, Sasaki launched a signature campaign to demand an explanation from Kaisei Gakuen, which was trying to cover up the bullying. Right after he held a press conference at the Prefectural Government Press Club in the Nagasaki prefectural office, Sasaki heard something unbelievable from a prefectural official.
Sasaki explains what happened at that time in his written opinion, pointing out the contradiction in Kyodo News, which accepted the Nagasaki Shimbun’s protests.
To be continued.
(Originally published in Japanese on June 8, 2023. Translation by Mana Shibata.)Adults in the Student Suicide Case: All articles