Japan Today

2 high school girls, 50-year-old man found dead in car in apparent joint suicide


Two high school girls aged 16 and 17 and a 50-year-old man were found dead in a parked car in Saitama Prefecture on Thursday in what police believe was a joint suicide.

According to police, a man walking in the area spotted the car, with its engine running, at around 2 p.m. on a mountain road near Moroyama, and called 110, Sankei Shimbun reported. Police said the two girls were in the back seat. The 17-year-old lived in Hakone and the other girl was from Akiruno City, Tokyo. Police said the man, who was unemployed and owned the car, lived in Toda, Saitama Prefecture.

Inside the car were the remnants of charcoal briquettes. The doors were locked and the windows rolled up and sealed with tape. Police said there was also a note indicating that the three -- who apparently did not know each other -- had decided to commit suicide together. Police believe they may have met on a social network site.

If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people who can provide counseling. Click here for more info.

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For the man I am not sure what was the reason, but for the 2 Girls I guess Bully cases.

But whatever the reason was, it is very very sad!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I have trouble reading when anyone commits suicide.

Somethin needs to be done to help troubled individuals.

Japan and South Korea has the highest suicides in the world.

Must be the society that leads these people to drastic thoughts.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Parents need to step up! Parents NEED to tell their Children they love them! I have NEVER heard a Japanese parent tell their son/daughter that they love them. This is the result of FAILED parenting. Hug your kids, spend time with them, take them places..and most of all ASK THEM EVERYDAY how they are doing! Listen when the speak, and stop telling your children you are to "Busy". Continue this and those parents will be "Busy", planning a funeral! Get it together Japan! Do I have to teach you how to be a parent as well as teach you how to handle COVID-19?!?!

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Again, terribly sad news.

Btw: Thank you, JT for the appropriate ‘Public Service Message’ at the end of this article, and hopefully, related future topics.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Moroyama, Hakone, Saitama, Akiruno City, they are quite away from each other so I dont think this was a chance meeting, it sounds like it was planned, either way its very sad when children of this age comit suicide they are just starting out on the path of life.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That man murdered those two children, let's be clear.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

This was not a ‘joint suicide’. This is a “Double Murder” of two emotionally-disturbed, young women. They were stalked and killed by a mentally-deranged predator.

He thought he would justified his own loneliness and failures in this life by preying on some emotionally/immature ‘children’. Some of these sick-F’s even believe their victims ‘will be bonded to him’ in the whatever ‘afterlife’ he may be headed towards

For them: “RIP, innocents!” Your families are heartbroken. -
-13 ( +8 / -21 )

Jind: "Japan and South Korea has the highest suicides in the world."

Yes, and they also have the highest number of hours of schooling, and entrance exams, in the world. Coincidence? I think not. At least not for the teens.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@smithinjapan. Many of us trust your consistent posts and experience here. When we see impassioned pleas again and again like @RickySanchez, it leaves many questions.

Realistically, outside of the immediate effects on close family and friends, does this country, as ‘a people homogeneous ideals’, really care about youth suicide or, is it just accepted?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Amazing how some here are calling this murder. I guess that's how they process this sad loss but swearing, name-calling and blaming is not what is needed.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

does this country, as ‘a people homogeneous ideals’, really care about youth suicide or, is it just accepted?

Well, what's the alternative? Let's be realistic here - there are various causes of the youth (and general) suicide rate in Japan:

As @smithinjapan mentioned, the schooling / exam culture is a big one.

Bullying (which is often a result of the strict social hierarchy structure in Japanese society) is another.

Another is the few opportunities for second chances that exist in Japan... bad student in junior high school? Makes it tough to get into a good high school, which makes it tough to get into a good university, which makes it tough to get into a good company, and everything falls apart. What about for adults - stuck in a bad company or in an industry you hate? It's awfully hard to change jobs here, compared to Western countries. Stuck in a loveless marriage? Divorce still has a strong stigma and people tend to endure the situation instead.

Of course there are plenty of others. But to @snowymountainhell's question: "Is it just accepted?" I don't think anyone just doesn't care about it. But when the causes of it are the systems and traditions that your entire society is built around, what are you going to do? Entirely reform the education system, all the jobs that go along with it, and change how people have done it for generations? Convince people to change the social hierarchy system that schools, clubs, and companies have been designed around for generations? How can you change these things? It would require an entire overhaul of the entire country, its systems, its traditions, its mentality, its mindsets. As reasonable people, we are saying "Enough is enough - let's end this ridiculous rate of suicides!" But fixing it would require fixing the flaws in society as a whole, and I don't see any easy way for that to happen.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@The Original Wing

A huge part of the culture when it comes to adversity is the notion of not complaining, toughing it out and enduring it. You mentioned that for marriage but that is the same for everything.

It's both admirable and tragic at the same time.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Addendum to the above: that's looking at the big picture. If we look at the small picture, sure, there are plenty of little adjustments that can be made. We can teach more about mental health and try to make it less of a taboo subject. We can train teachers to be more proactive against bullying. We can limit the number of extra curricular activities that we sign our kids up for in order to increase their down time and family time. But these small measures will yield small results. They may save some lives, but not enough to "solve" the massive suicide problem that Japan faces.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, then @MartinBlank 5:50p JST. Please forgive our ‘emotions’. It’s just really disturbing, year after year.

@Chibakun’s not name-calling. Just ‘calling it like it is’. Looks like @TheOriginalWing 5:52 has even more questions.

So, @*MartinBlank, *not attacking you personally but, please, tell us: ‘what is needed’? What ideas do you have?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I am thinking perhaps the reason some are calling this a murder is because with the life experience a 50 year old has, one would like to think that they should know that there are help lines and counseling available and perhaps should have steered the girls towards a better resolution.

But that is what a rational, lucid thinking adult would do. People with depression work under an entirely different set of rules governed by their tormented minds.

Sad all around. As a parent, I can't imagine what their parents are going through.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Got it! @TOWing 5:52p JST - That classic phrase ‘to enslave a people’: “gambaru!” - endure everything or, ‘face society’s consequences’ -

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Weren’t you just questioning @expat (+) “the practice or invoicing families for property damage, train delays, etc and that there are no real sentencing guidelines in Japan. Respectfully, we’re curious about what your years of experience here can tell us of how to deal with this kind of cultural difference?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Some people here claim that Japan has an exceptionally high suicide rate. That is not the case. Japan's suicide rate (14.3) , according to WHO statistics, is approximately the same as e.g. Sweden (13.8) and the US (13.7) (ref. the Wikipedia article on global suicide rates).

I guess this impression has been created partly because of Western fascination with cultural phenomena like ritual suicide ("harakiri/seppuku").

-1 ( +5 / -6 )


You are correct, the rate is a myth but the reasons are more unique. Russia for example has the highest rate for males due to many (depressing) factors where as in Japan/SK the reasons are more "regional". You are also right that Bushido still plays a part in both Japan's view of it and the west's view of Japan (on this topic) but it's not the full story.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Sad they wanted to kill themselves. At least they had the consideration to do it quietly.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )


"What ideas do you have?"

Only the obvious western efforts for this situation: more education, mental help, etc....but...

This topic is SO INCREDIABLY complex and deep here that no one or two or three changes will do much. I hope this doesn't sound glib but this is part of Japan's culture and it's interwoven on SO many levels. Simply put, it is still seen as honorable (or "acceptable" or "understandable") to do this so that might be the first big push, to stigmatize the action and promote seeking help instead (and of course, funding that help properly).

The takeaway though IMO is that looking at this from a western perspective is already missing the point...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Thanks @MartinBlank for your response. Never been fascinated with it or romanticized "Bushido, seppuku, etc" like @lunheim has expressed. (Seems like all of it is "in servitude to the masters"). It's ust that: 'a bygone era' that almost led to the complete self-emulation of the populace here : "only a few voices openly protested the rush toward national suicide.* " -

@M Blank - Much respect -

*citation: https://www.nytimes.com/1985/08/05/world/how-japan-got-ready-for-suicide.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the man wants to commit suicide, do it by himself, don't take people's daughters too.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )


"in servitude to the masters"

Close but it's more like "to your group" these days where "group" could be your family, coworkers, shareholders or just society at large. If "you" are bringing down, embarrassing, straining or shaming your "group", suicide is a viable option for many...and this harks back to the days of Bushido.

Westerns generally see it as an escape of pain or sufferings...the easy way out in some cases. This in general is not how it's seen here.


1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sad, but not surprised at all, living under so much pressure to be better and being constantly told to follow the rules and what to do by your school, parents, couches, and TV will lead many weak minded ""KIDS"" to take their own lives, I see it everywhere here like a police state.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Japanese youths...

3 ( +3 / -0 )


Guessing people’s reasons for suicide withiut knowing any motives is pretty rude.

They are deceased and we don’t know what happened yet.

This is a common horror story here. RIP

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are a multiple reasons why this occurs. The bottom line however is that three lives have tragically been lost. Having no obvious connection between them strengthens the assertation that social media may have been involved, which raises various scenarios. The beckoning question is- who wrote the note?

The young can be so vulnerable to online predators, if this is the case. Whatever the situation, three families now have to endure heartache for the rest of their lives and many do not recover. RIP

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Condolences for any surviving family members and may all who perished Rest in Peace. Sad situation when one gives up any hope or fails to see a point in living. Just not enough common decency out there as once used to be.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

lunheim: "Some people here claim that Japan has an exceptionally high suicide rate. That is not the case. Japan's suicide rate (14.3) , according to WHO statistics, is approximately the same as e.g. Sweden (13.8) and the US (13.7) (ref. the Wikipedia article on global suicide rates)."

Yeah, but how about for children?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@The Original Wing YOU NAILED IT! Once a student enters schools he or she is taught to behave in a certain way. The kids get more of how to become model citizens from schooling not from their parents. The parents are just figure heads that are responsible for naturing the child the system expects the child to mature based on how they behave in school and the countries culture and norms set. As The Original Wing alluded to, once a child start off wrong, he or she are held back. The competition is stiff and with bad grades a student is expected not to progress into a good university which leads to a good job when they graduate from college. There is no room for failure in the schools or at the work place. In schools kids form clicks its either you are in our out. In the work place the boss is considered the king, do as I say or you are done. If you are not a drinker you will become one. Its the culture that thrives on a lot of stress and pressure. I think that once these people realize this where their low self esteem has been evaluated from preschool to adulthood they realize there is no other way. Talk to someone is useless because they to are brought up under the same stresses and people handle it different leaving the other person to possibly say its their problem they don't see anything wrong.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is not accurate to cite outdated 2016 WHO data from Wikipedia regarding Japan’s suicide rate. Suicide Rate by Country 2021 found at worldpopulationreview.com shows the latest WHO estimates. By those rankings, Japan is 14, USA is 27, and Sweden is 28. Yet North Korea is ranked 59 and China is 69. WHO admits data from these nations is not verifiable. They should be ranked at least in the Top 20 for suicide rates.

A more accurate measure for national suicide rates excludes less developed and non-democratic nations where disguised murders are often reported as “suicides”. Among OECD nations, Japan has the seventh highest suicide rate.

A 2020 Japanese Government white paper reported a decline in the national suicide rate, but a startling 10% increase in suicides under age 20, the highest ever reported. For six Age Categories between 15 and 39, suicide is the leading cause of death in Japan—and also the highest suicide rate among Group of Seven nations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suicide is a major problem in Japan.

The reason?

Compassion is lacking!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It should be mentioned that regardless of Japan’s ranking in overall suicide rates, South Korea is consistently far higher at 4th overall. Russia is usually ranked 1st or 2nd year after year, according to WHO data. Yet Japan’s rate of suicide is publicized more internationally, which has led to some misperceptions about modern Japanese culture.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You are given one life. Live that life wisely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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