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2 elderly women jump to their deaths on rail tracks

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I was on the Yokohama line on the way home last night when this happened. It didn't affect my train, but the notice that flashed on the screen said Odakyu Line direct operation suspended due to "passenger injury".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am probably too loud to be heard now, but should not they invent real good barriers that would protect people from accidents and idiotic choices? I do not believe it is THAT hard to do, a wall of sorts that separates tracks and the platform, with a door that automatically opens when the train arrives, leaving no gap for an "opportunity". Does not work outside the station though... Most countries do not need such "assurances". Japan does.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Barriers do exist on many JR, subway stations.

Slowly being put up, delays are cost , different trains using same platforms, can only work when no trains running, etc.

Not all operators put the same priority on it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Barriers will do little to stop somebody who is intent on killing themselves, even by train. All they'd have to do is go to another station, or do it at a crossing.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The barriers only make them choose another station. They do nothing to stop this happening. They also installed blue lighting and bird noises at many stations, but that did nothing to prevent this. They need to be looking at why it happens so often and not trying to stop it at a few stations.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why do they choose jumping into trains rather than hanging by themselves? It causes a lot of inconveniences to train users.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Why do they choose jumping into trains rather than hanging by themselves? It causes a lot of inconveniences to train users.

That is precisely why. They want to make headlines and get attention. Go out in a bang, if you will.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Horrific for the driver and passengers who could see. also imagine being anywhere nearby on the platform. It's dangerous too as a lady was hit a jumper body recently and was severely injured.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Japan would be an excellent place to allow doctor-assisted suicide. You could die in the comfort of your own home or at a hospital surrounded by the people who love you."

I'm for DA suicide but I'd much prefer a government that provides sufficient aid/assistance to the elderly it ostensibly reveres, Confucius and all that. But if they are ailing, lack caring family with means or proper public support, of course, they should have the option.

By the way, Oregon is not alone in the US. It's legal on the entire west coast plus Colorado and Vermont. My father (in another state) has had his magic pill for years.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Ah, some of you must have known that I was coming. This is avoidable as I and Naumov Danila

have stated. They need to put barriers up. Yes, it will cost, but it will make it more and more difficult for these situations to happen. Yes, some will go to other stations. But eventually those stations will get tired of the disruption of service and put up barriers too like they should have done ages ago when the suicide rate and use of trains for it were astronomical or they will continue to lose money and passengers will continue to be inconvenienced. It is the least they can do and in the public's better interest. And yes they will find another way if they really want to commit suicide. But we don't have to make it easy for them to kill themselves.

Yes, they could strangle themselves at home. A long death is too scary to most. Jumping in front of trains is the quickest way. Sad. RIP ladies and I am sorry that a lot of people were inconvenienced. An avoidable situation though.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

They also installed blue lighting and bird noises at many stations,

the birdnoises are for blind people to hear where stairs or the exit are If im not mistaken. I doubt it does little to prevent someone from suicide.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

barriers will not make a bit of difference. they will only prevent accidents. do you really think someone on the brink of suicide will be deterred by a 4 foot barrier?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why is the nation not deeply ashamed that elderly people are doing this? Why not ask 'why' as opposed to 'how can we stop them from doing it'?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Why not ask 'why' as opposed to 'how can we stop them from doing it'?

> Shhhhh, common sense and empathy are not allowed here!!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The solution is to create a loving, caring environment, that the elderly in the twilight years of their lives can enjoy the warm embrace and support of their family and/or community. Simply providing the care and kindness they deserve. Then there will be no need for barriers other than an additional safety measure.

Assisted suicide for these despairing and desolate sisters is a sign of societies indifference to even an iota of compassion or concern for humanity.         

I do understand medical assistance to end life, where the quality of that life is affected in such a negative manner as to render its continuance an extreme act of cruelty. Even then how and where would safe guards be implemented? Maybe not appropriate debate so soon, in the light of these tragic deaths.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Stations are probably so often chosen because life as an office worker in Japan is so hard. Actually, the hardest part is the commute. People think when they arrive at the station that it is not worth doing another day, another commute, another day in the office. I have always thought there seems to be a peak on Monday mornings.

I have read about the blue lights to make people relax, but why bother with that when they play music that seems to be designed to irritate before the doors close, and if you do get on the train, there will be more irritating noises, the endless needless announcements.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Wouldn't happen as often if ppl had access to assisted suicide. Dying with dignity, especially in an ageing society like Japan (ageing world, actually) should be a fundamental right all have.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why is the nation not deeply ashamed that elderly people are doing this? Why not ask 'why' as opposed to 'how can we stop them from doing it'?

Legit question here, by looking at some comments, one could say maybe selfishness and not being disturb in your commuting time are most important than empathy and compassion nowadays. rather sad, politician also saying "elderly should hurry up and die" is probably not helping that society to be open on the others...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Poor women, I wonder what happened that drove them to this?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

barriers will not make a bit of difference. they will only prevent accidents. do you really think someone on the brink of suicide will be deterred by a 4 foot barrier?

@Dango Bongo - They will prevent accidents, that makes a lot of difference to someone who stumbles on to them either by accident, because of being drunk or being pushed. I think that is a step up. If accidents can be avoided even if accidents are rare then in the interest of public safety, they should be put up. As for four foot barriers, I'd bet that those two old ladies may not have been able to climb it, and the suicide and disruption of transportation services would have been avoided. I am all for anything that prevents accidents, suicides and disruption of transportation services even if they are just four foot barriers, but I do hope that they will completely block off entrance to the rails as much as possible.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So sad for elderly people to end this way my condolence goes out to their families

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The only group that will ultimately benefit from assisted suicide (a veritable legal minefield to define) will be the ambulance chasing underbelly of a legal profession whose lawyers and attorneys along with human rights barristers the means to line their pockets at will. Insurance companies will inevitably find, then take aim at, mental health conflict loopholes that will tear families apart.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Dango bong Today 07:25 am JST

Why do they choose jumping into trains rather than hanging by themselves? It causes a lot of inconveniences to train users.

That is precisely why. They want to make headlines and get attention. Go out in a bang, if you will.

I don't think so. I believe they think being hit by a train will bring a quick, instantaneous death, and it's easily accessible. Jumping off a building, during the fall you have time to realize.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Assisted suicide for these despairing and desolate sisters is a sign of societies indifference to even an iota of compassion or concern for humanity.

Why assume a lack of compassion? Why assume that no elderly person in their right mind could ever rationally decide that they want to end their life, especially someone in their 90s? Is seems like a very paternalistic attitude.

For me it's about respecting human autonomy and choice. Most of us find it difficult to imagine, but 90 years is a very long time to live for some. Quite simply, some people have had enough, especially when their mind and body is not what it used to be, the fear of disease and disability stalks them on a daily basis, and everyone they ever cared for has already passed on. For some, it's not a life worth living and who are we to tell them otherwise?

Maybe not appropriate debate so soon, in the light of these tragic deaths.

The only thing we know about these deaths is that the women involved had an intention to end their lives, to do it together, and they did so (in a very shocking way). Anything beyond that, including whether they would have considered it tragic, seems to be conjecture. With tha in mind, the assisted suicide debate is probably the only thing we should be talking about at this early stage. Any discussion which assumes that they were sad, lonely, abandoned, and probably could have been talked out of it is probably not appropriate at this point.

There is this pernicious idea out there that every elderly person who commits suicide could have been dissuaded if only someone had paid them a weekly visit with a cup of warm soup and a friendly ear to listen. It's very belittling to every rational elderly person who wants to end their life with dignity. This subject needs to stop being such a taboo. Death is an integral part of life.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Barriers may well have worked in his one

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Suicide is such a selfish act and extremely traumatic for all those involved. My brothers high school friend chose to take his life, father found his body, had a heart attack and passed away right there in front of his wife. A woman who just witnessed the only two men in her family die. Horrific.

So it frustrates me that people in this country choose to do it so publicly and dont think or care about the driver or any of those who happen to witness it, including kids at the station.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I think many suicides are not really planned and just spontaneous feelings of ending their frustration at that moment. In addition to what others said, in that sense, barriers would prevent it from happening at that time at least, and would help prevent accidents too. How many accidents/suicides have there been at roppongi-ichome station for example, where it's practically impossible to gain access to the tracks.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

the birdnoises are for blind people to hear where stairs or the exit are If im not mistaken. I doubt it does little to prevent someone from suicide

Blue lights with the suicidal is like a yellow net with crows. After awhile, they realize the trick.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is very paternalistic attitude. M3, no disagreement there.

At this moment in time, I can visualize a full on disagreement with a senior family member, cross hurtful words are exchanged in the heat of the moment that cannot be retracted. Doubt linger and fester away until actions are taken and minds are made up. 'I am a burden' etc etc.

I not stifling debate, it was a comment on the timing.

Also I am opinionating, no more, no less on a subject that for once, was unanimously rejected in a UK house of commons debate. If pernicious saves lives and cups of warm soup can dissuade a needless death, I can live with that.

Where I am at a crossroads is euthanasia. However, in the hands of a lawyer, the very definition can be bent well out of shape

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Selfish and ignorant behavior, I sincerely hope their family sued into oblivion.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I have no problem with people ending their lives, that's their decision over their own lives and body but it shouldn't be done in this ugly public way. There might be young children who have the image ingrained on the their brains. Assisted suicide should be available for those wishing to end their lives in a painless manner. No one escapes death it's only the timing.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

zichi I agree completely. If you want to off yourself go ahead, but don't make everyone else suffer.

As for barriers, no they would not have made any different. If you are at the point of taking your own life, after contemplating everything, stepping over a 4 foot barrier is not a big deal

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@itsonlyrocknroll

I just think there should be a legal alternative for everyone, even if I personally find it almost impossible to imagine losing the will to live. Presumably, the stack of paperwork, psychological screening, and a waiting period would ensure that only those who have made a rational choice to end their lives will go through with the process.

I can't find any compelling reason to reject their decision if they are of sound mind and have considered it carefully. When two people decide to end their lives together, such as these women, it suggests at least some consideration. I don't believe anyone in their 70s and 90s actually wants to get crushed by a train, inconvenience thousands of others, and be identified in the papers. It's such a horrible way to die. There should be a more dignified alternative. Sorry for taking a bit of a swipe at you in my earlier comment but I feel very strongly about this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Desperately sad story, that they considered their only option was this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a horrible way to go. Japan needs an assisted suicide law for the humane ending based on a choice

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As for method of suicide doing a quick search, although somewhat outdated (2010) hanging is the no.1 method, second is by monoxide poisoning using charcoal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Rationality and sound mind, is where reasonable doubt will take on a significance all of its own.

Especially for loved ones who will be left to pick up the pieces, with the possibility of resorting to proportioning blame. There is no dignify in death, when the devastating effects sudden shock brings if a family member takes a decision without any prior discussion. All in the mistaken belief the action will relieve their family of an unnecessary burden.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sad, sad, this happened. RIP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no dignify in death, when the devastating effects sudden shock brings if a family member takes a decision without any prior discussion.

Clearly, most people who wish to take their own their lives will eventually find a way. So, the availability of assisted dying is proabably a bit irrelevant and academic for most people. However, when it comes to the elderly or disabled, the real question for me is whether there needs to be an option for those who are no longer physically fit enough to get up and use any of the horrible methods that are out there (such as jumping in front of a train, etc). Many of these elderly and disabled people live in tightly controlled care homes where they will never be able to injure themselves or overdose on medications (a common method). At the very least we need to make some accomodation for them. They need to be able to use their words in lieu of physical strength to bring about the same results that able-bodied people take for granted. Of course, we also need to talk about what sort of safeguards need to be in place.

I have alot of sympathy for elderly people and we really need to address their quality of life, but I'm not sure how best to do it. People are living longer than at any time in human history and the pace of technological and cultural change makes the world they are living in now seem completely alien to the one they were born into. Just think that someone in their 90s was born before 1928. The prime of their lives was in the 1950s, they were already in their 60s in the 1980s, their spouses and best friends probably died in the 1990s, and now they are being asked to use an i-pad every time they visit their local clinic. I can completely understand why some of them (perhaps a small minority) would just like to stop and get off here, even if medical science could keep them alive for another 5 or 10 years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No need to apologise M3, I understand your reasoning. My view is practicality, and legislation written in haste. I have refrained from directly commenting about this tragedy because of the lack of details.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

THIS is why the passenger railroad companies plus both Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway are building platform barriers as fast as possible in the Tokyo region. Such barriers will be enough of a deterrent that station personnel will have enough time to stop these acts of suicide.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What's wrong with this Society?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I won't be waiting for the day to come when I have to wear adult diapers or I've lost my memory to disease. The only sure moments in life are birth and death.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Can't we already have a legit way to end own life without stopping others? There is a large population in Japan who wants to rest in peace. Give them an honorable option to pass away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why we are not going realistic. We are all busy and never think that two elderly women one mother and other daughter how to pull on their life waiting for death. Why to wait for death to come, get her it by embracing it by a simple way like jumping before a train. I wish authorities will make some facilities to achieve people's desires

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For us Japanese this is not news, just an everyday occurrence that has been happening for thousands of years in our country. There is not much we can do about it so we must accept the situation.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Not sure why the people saying that more barriers are needed are getting so many down votes. I'd suggest that while it's possible to "just go to another station," I'd imagine that some of these jumpers are people who are just standing there as usual and think, Oh sod it. A barrier might provide that lack of choice that will get them onto the train and hopefully onto a better and brighter day.

In this case though, yeah, these women weren't Thelma and Louise...they clearly went there with intent. And it's sad that we may never know what drove them to feel that they needed a way out of their life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

its not sad, its annoying, do it at home

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

God bless you ladies.

Could begin to image the moment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

it shouldn't be done in this ugly public way...

It's really a desperate message by the ladies to the society: Do something about the care of elderly people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dango bong Apr. 25  07:57 am JST barriers will not make a bit of difference. they will only prevent accidents. do you really think someone on the brink of suicide will be deterred by a 4 foot barrier?

When the people attempting suicide are in their 70's and 90's, yes, a 4-foot barrier could definitely have been a deterrent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When the people attempting suicide are in their 70's and 90's, yes, a 4-foot barrier could definitely have been a deterrent.

I do not think so

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I believe wholeheartedly that professional proactive community based care and support there is an escape from hopeless despair and loneliness .

Suffering severe depression a is debilitative mental condition. With the right treatment, and support network, the elderly will not feel life has passed them by in isolation. I am convinced transforming social care can prevent these tragedies.

If society views there elderly pensioners as useless liabilities, these vulnerable people with nowhere to turn for sympathetic counseling will become victims to a group that are motivated, I suggest, by self-interest that permeate pessimistic views that given the choice to terminate life can be justified with corn flake packet faux platitudes, as no one escapes death it's only the timing or only sure moments in life are birth and death. Life is far to precious.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

look if these ladies chose to go all the way to the station to off themselves while inconveniencing thousands of people instead of doing it at home, I think they would be capable of hoping over a waist-high barrier. They would not make it all the way to the station after contemplating ending their lives and say "oh crap! a four foot barrier! There go my plans for suicide. darn it!"

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Yeah, right. Because they should just find a quiet rock to go under and just die, right? Some sick sociopaths in this thread...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Gov and news would stop with the daily fearmongering ( NK here, selling gasmasks there ) The generation 70+ (who still have memories of the wartime ) wont need to jump in front of trains.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

they should just find a quiet rock to go under and just die, right?

better than selfishly inconveniencing 1000s of people and costing the train company money.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Dango bong Apr. 26  07:41 am JST look if these ladies chose to go all the way to the station to off themselves while inconveniencing thousands of people instead of doing it at home, I think they would be capable of hoping over a waist-high barrier. They would not make it all the way to the station after contemplating ending their lives and say "oh crap! a four foot barrier! There go my plans for suicide. darn it!"

Seriously? Do you know many people in their 90's who can just hop over a 4-foot high barrier. You do realize that the average height of a Japanese woman that age is closer to 5 feet so a 4-foot barrier would be about up to her neck, not an easy "hop" even for a younger person, let alone 2 elderly women.

The definition of a deterrent is something that deters or discourages someone from something, so tell me again how a 4-foot barrier wouldn't have been a deterrent for 2 elderly women? It doesn't mean that they may not have found another way to have committed suicide but probably not by jumping in front of a train with a barrier at the station.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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