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14-year-old boy killed by train in apparent suicide

19 Comments

A 14-year-old boy died after being hit by a train in an apparent suicide on Saturday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 5:40 a.m. Saturday at Oizumigakuen Station on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line in Nerima Ward. Sankei Shimbun reported that the train driver told police he saw the boy jump off the platform onto the tracks. He applied the emergency brake, but was unable to stop the train in time.

The boy left his shoulder bag, containing his student handbook, on the platform, but police did not say if there was a suicide note in it.

Nobody on the train was injured. Train services were delayed by about 35 minutes, officials said.

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19 Comments
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Such a pity. A young life in distress with no apparent way to healthily express his angst. Rest in peace.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Do not report! Responsible journalism please. We do not need to know and we certainly do not want people with suicidal-tendancies to know.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

"Responsible journalism" means sweeping things under the carpet? Sure, we all know how well ignoring a problem works with child abuse, domestic violence, sexual violence, homophobia and prejudices leading to unequal treatment in daily lives...

If you mean don't sensationalise a story like this, I agree. JT haven't done that..

10 ( +13 / -3 )

RIP. I swear they put too much pressure on these poor kids sometimes. Bullying plus social and other pressures....

5 ( +7 / -2 )

5.40sm ?? Any youngster kid should be at home asleep in bed at that time.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I swear they put too much pressure on these poor kids sometimes. Bullying plus social and other pressures....

Some years ago the American anthropologist Thomas Rohlen tried to see if there was any correlation between competition rates on entrance exams and youth suicide in Japan. He found a correlation but it was negative. As competition rates had gone up, youth suicide had gone down.

It's very easy to make claims about the cause of suicide. It's much more difficult to backup those claims.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Where are the psychologists and psychiatrists in Japan, and why are they not publishing research about the causes of these tragic and too-often repeated events? And why are government agencies not encouraging reporting in the general press and to education agencies the results of this research? Every man and his dog know what the problem is; pushy parents and the children themselves responding to an over-competitive educational environment,all leading to highly stressed children, as if adolescence itself were not stressful enough for some. Strong government influence here is needed to change the educational environment. Will it happen? Doubt it!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Most drivers will tell you they could have stopped the train, but when the emergency brake is put on, it locks the wheels and slides. It is necessary for legality issues.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Every man and his dog know what the problem is; pushy parents and the children themselves responding to an over-competitive educational environment,all leading to highly stressed children, as if adolescence itself were not stressful enough for some.

No, not every man and his dog knows this because it is not necessarily true. The educational environment is much less competitive now than it was in the past. The number of eighteen year old Japanese peaked in 1992. It is now roughly at 60% of the 1992 level. But, while the number of potential college students has declined, the places on offer has increased substantially. Unless you aim for the equivalent of the Ivy League, you can coast into college with very little effort. Numerous surveys show the amount of time devoted to study outside of school including shadow education (aka juku) has steadily declined.

One indication of how competition has declined is the number of ronin who take an additional year to study for college entrance examinations. It is one-seventh of the peak level today.

Where are the psychologists and psychiatrists in Japan, and why are they not publishing research about the causes of these tragic and too-often repeated events?

Very often the precise reason for a suicide is unknown. Privacy considerations also inhibit some types of research. Nonetheless, there is in fact quite a bit of research, much of it readily available in published form. Do a search on 青少年自殺 研究.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Re responsible journalism

I have noted here before that, at least in Australia, newspapers and sites invariably add a line at the end of reports concerning suicide which direct those with concerns to crisis support services like Lifeline or Beyond Blue (https://www.beyondblue.org.au/).

I think that's responsible journalism.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I have noted here before that, at least in Australia, newspapers and sites invariably add a line at the end of reports concerning suicide which direct those with concerns to crisis support services

I see this in Japan as well.

There has been, at least in Britain, a debate as to whether youth suicide should be reported and how. Some argue that reporting leads to copy cat suicides. Others blame social media.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/02/15/Cluster-of-youth-suicides-in-Welsh-town/72671203137956/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7204172.stm

There have also been US cases where it has been alleged that reporting of one youth suicide led to a cluster of such suicides. Others argue that the cluster phenomenon is imaginary.

There are no simple answers for Japan or any other country.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm not a religious person by any means, but I wonder if it's more acceptable in Japan since suicide doesn't have a religious stigma attached to it like it does in the west with their religions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow at 5:40 am. He did a suicide on the first train of the morning schedule.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Maria

"Responsible journalism" means sweeping things under the carpet? Sure, we all know how well ignoring a problem works with child abuse, domestic violence, sexual violence, homophobia and prejudices leading to unequal treatment in daily lives... If you mean don't sensationalise a story like this, I agree. JT haven't done that..

That wasn't my point at all. A lot of research provides clear evince that the more you report on suicides the more they happen. This is why countries like New Zealand ban any reporting of suicide.

Do you really need to know that a boy killed himself? We all know that 100 people commit suicides everyday in Japan, reporting on individual cases raises the potential for imitation - it can inspire very depressed people to go over the edge.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Do you really need to know that a boy killed himself? We all know that 100 people commit suicides everyday in Japan, reporting on individual cases raises the potential for imitation - it can inspire very depressed people to go over the edge.

No, we don't know that "100 people commit suicides everyday in Japan." 365 * 100 = 36,500. The most recent full year figure (2015) was 23,971. This was reported widely including in Japan Today. The absolute number of suicides and the suicide rate has been declining steadily since 2009.

I'm not a religious person by any means, but I wonder if it's more acceptable in Japan since suicide doesn't have a religious stigma attached to it like it does in the west with their religions.

There may not be much of a religious stigma in Japan but there is a definite social stigma, at least in the past. I have read and been told by Japanese that having a suicide in your family can harm your marriage prospects because it may suggest that mental illness runs in your family. I don't think this attitude is widely prevalent, but I would not say it is zero level either.

Stigma is not the issue with major European religions. Historically, the Abrahamic religions have regarded suicide as a sin but teachings vary among the major traditions and among sects. Further, the correlation between church teachings and what people actually do is weak and contradictory. Some Roman Catholic countries have very low suicide rates while others have quite high suicide rates.

Google "religion and suicide" and you will find that teachings and national patterns vary widely. Japan ranks 17th in suicide rates. Three of the countries with higher rates are European and predominantly Christian.

http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-with-the-most-suicides-in-the-world.html

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let me try that again...

igloobuyerAUG. 14, 2016 - 03:28PM JST @Maria

"Responsible journalism" means sweeping things under the carpet? Sure, we all know how well ignoring a problem works with child abuse, domestic violence, sexual violence, homophobia and prejudices leading to unequal treatment in daily lives... If you mean don't sensationalise a story like this, I agree. JT haven't done that..

That wasn't my point at all. A lot of research provides clear evince that the more you report on suicides the more they happen.

This is why countries like New Zealand ban any reporting of suicide. Do you really need to know that a boy killed himself? We all know that 100 people commit suicides everyday in Japan, reporting on individual cases raises the potential for imitation - it can inspire very depressed people to go over the edge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both my sons are not academically brilliant and I would put myself in that class as well. I simply remind them every so often that I'm proud of them, especially when they leave the house in a huff after a family disagreement. I also insist that my wife sits at the table during meals at the weekend and listens to her children instead of jumping up and down like a yo-yo ~~~ to-ing and fro-ing from the kitchen with food and dishes. We have had four school suicides in our area and "I" am not going to be a victim.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We all know that 100 people commit suicides everyday in Japan,

Your claim does not become more factually correct by repeating it a second time. The number for 2015 was 66 per day average but suicide is actually quite seasonal so some days will see far fewer, other days far more.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

bullfighterAUG. 14, 2016 - 06:58PM JST

We all know that 100 people commit suicides everyday in Japan, Your claim does not become more factually correct by repeating it a second time. The number for 2015 was 66 per day average but suicide is actually quite seasonal so some days will see far fewer, other days far more.

I know. Please give it a rest.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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