Japan suicides down but still high

2011-03-03 10:15

Tokyo – Suicides in Japan hit a nine-year low last year but still topped 30 000 for a 13th year in a row, police data showed today.

Japan, with a population of 128 million, has long had one of the world’s highest suicide rates, behind only a group of former Soviet bloc countries, says the World Health Organization.

Last year, the grim toll dropped 3.5% to 31 690 – or 87 deaths a day – the lowest level since 2001, said the National Police Agency.

Half of all suicides were due to health reasons, according to farewell letters and other evidence, and about 4 500 related mainly to family troubles, according to the figures.

Suicides related to economic problems dropped 11.2% to about 7 400 – partly due to tighter rules against loan sharks, police and experts said.

Yearly suicides topped 30 000 in Japan for the first time in 1998, at time of many corporate bankruptcies and rising unemployment.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan has repeatedly voiced concern over Japan’s high suicide rate and Tuesday convened a meeting of a task force that aims to find ways to reduce the toll, Kyodo News reported.

“The annual number of people who committed suicide exceeded 30 000 for the 13th straight year and I strongly want this level to be reduced,” Kan said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.