The Sweet Tweet to Save Lives

In this BBC report about school pressure and suicide, it comes clear how bad bullying is in one of the world’s most high-achieving countries.

According to the Japanese cabinet office, 1 September is historically the day the largest number of children under 18 have taken their own lives.

Between 1972 and 2013, of the 18,048 children who killed themselves, on average 92 did so on 31 August, 131 on 1 September and 94 on 2 September.

The numbers were also high in early April when the first semester begins in the Japanese school calendar.

On seeing the statistic earlier this month, Maho Kawai, a librarian in Kamakura, tweeted: “The second semester is almost upon us. If you are thinking of killing yourself because you hate school so much, why not come to us? We have comics and light novels.

“No-one would tell you off if you spend all day here. Remember us as your refuge if you’re thinking of choosing death over school in September.”

It was a controversial move for the library, which is part of the city’s education committee, not to encourage children to stay in school. The director of the library Takashi Kikuchi told the BBC that there was even talk of deleting the tweet.

But it touched many hearts and within 24 hours, it was retweeted more than 60,000 times.

japanese library tweet