Princess Leaves School Over Bullying
8-year-old Japanese royal afraid; palace wants problem fixed
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2010 12:47 PM CST
In this Oct. 17. 2009 file photo, Japan's Princess Aiko, daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, celebrates after a sports meet at Gakushuin Primary School in Tokyo, Japan.   (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama, File)

(Newser) – Japan’s Princess Aiko has been out of school since Tuesday, after complaining that older boys have been bullying her. The 8-year-old became frightened and returned home in a state of anxiety, complaining of a stomachache. The palace asked the school to look into it. The school discovered that she and her second-grade classmates had been “treated harshly” by older boys.

The actions of a boy who rushed out of a classroom “must have reminded her of the rowdy behavior of several boys in the past, who may have thrown things and made her uneasy,” a school official tells the Japanese news agency Kyodo. But the school says it doesn’t believe Aiko herself was the target of violent behavior. Aiko is the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako.