TOKYO- A Japanese court on Thursday gave a suspended jail sentence to a former basketball coach for repeated physical abuse of a teenage boy who later killed himself.
The Osaka District Court in western Japan sentenced Hajime Komura, 47, to one year in prison, suspended for three years.
Komura was a teacher at Sakuranomiya Senior High School in Osaka and was coaching its basketball club.
The 17-year-old club captain was found hanging in his room two days before last Christmas. He left a note saying he had taken his life after being repeatedly beaten by the coach, education authorities had admitted.
Komura admitted beating the boy and apologised to his family in the wake of his death.
Presiding judge Kenta Onodera said the former teacher “blindly believed” that use of physical punishment was effective, despite complaints from parents of students.
“The suicide shows the victim suffered physically and mentally,” Jiji Press news agency quoted the judge as saying.
“The use of violence because the student did not play (to Komura’s) satisfaction was unreasonable.”
Violence in Japanese sport has been thrust into the spotlight in recent months after a series of high-profile cases.
A video emerged last week showing a volleyball coach repeatedly slapping a schoolboy, just days after Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympics.
Separately, world judo champion Shohei Ono was banned for three months for physically abusing junior members of his university judo squad.