national

2 men jump to deaths from train platform in Tokyo

53 Comments

Two men in their 50s or 60s jumped to their deaths from the same platform at Komaba-Todaimae Station on the Inokashira line in Tokyo on Monday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 12:25 p.m. TV Asahi reported that the men were standing about 20 meters apart as the train, bound for Shibuya, approached the station. One man jumped and the second man did likewise, in what police believe may have been a joint suicide.

The driver of the train was quoted as saying he was unable to stop in time, TV Asahi reported.

Police said one man was confirmed dead at the scene; the second man was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police are trying to determine the identities of the men, their exact ages and whether or not they knew each other.

Train services were suspended for about an hour after the incident.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

53 Comments
Login to comment

When will these deaths ever stop?

When barriers are introduced for stations!

-7 ( +8 / -16 )

Feel sorry for the families involved and the train driver.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If someone is intent on jumping in front of a train, the barriers are unlikely to stop him/her.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

How sad. Whether or not these men knew each other, it's tragic that they felt they could no longer face another day. Life/living can be so difficult sometimes, but it's sad that these two guys couldn't find something to compensate for the hard bits. RIP.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That's terrible.

I feel sorry for all involved, and especially their families and friends.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan is a culture of silence of confronting the problem. After almost 15 successive years of around 30K suicides, still most do not talk to therapists or doctors about their problems. And most people in Japan feel shame talking about their problems. There is little support for them and many are neglected by family. Japan has a long way to go before it reduces its suicide rate. Suicide prevention seems like low priorty for Japan goverment.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

A first for Japan's Railways... a double?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

If someone is intent on jumping in front of a train, the barriers are unlikely to stop him/her.

@John Becker

I slightly disagree.

Although barriers obviously wouldn't eliminate these incidents altogether, they would reduce the numbers somewhat — particularly those suicide attempts that are not premeditated but are made at the spur of the moment.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Passengers don't need access to the tracks. Full floor to ceiling barriers with doors that open only when the train is aligned are possible.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sensato Aug. 12, 2014 - 07:59AM JST Although barriers obviously wouldn't eliminate these incidents altogether, they would reduce the numbers somewhat — particularly those suicide attempts that are not premeditated but are made at the spur of the moment.

Even with barrier, or no barrier at the train station, you still would have close to 30,000 suicides a year. They will find another way to carry out their suicides. What Japan needs is to train more conselors and doctors to identify and communicate with these people that are on the edge and try to save these people. Japanese people have to know that it is not shameful to have problems.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Full-height doors and / or other barriers will stop suicides at stations but if someone is determined enough then they will find other access to the track or simply jump off tall buildings.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ok... so we put up bridge barriers, subway barriers, Mt. Fuji barriers, Highway Overpass Barriers, Tall Building Protective Windows.... what next... what the heck do you do next... how much money do we need to spend to prevent the intent on killing themselves? The one's we actually try to prevent are the one's that hinder our own lives by delaying our trains.,

0 ( +6 / -6 )

still most do not talk to therapists .... about their problems.

Talking about ones problems tends to alieviate those problems among Westerners, but increase them among Japanese. Butler, E. A., Lee, T. L., & Gross, J. J. (2009). Does expressing your emotions raise or lower your blood pressure? The answer depends on cultural context. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 40(3), 510-517.

There is no way that people can be prevented access to the track. These people appear to want to do it in public. It is easy to brand them as sick or sociopaths but I would be interested to know why they committed suicide ir in other words perhaps, what they had to say-in-another-way.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

danalawton1@yahoo.com -> Increase access to mental healthcare institutes and other therapists and psychiatrists ?

The answer is pretty simple.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Perhaps our supreme advisor might calculate the economic costs of a high suicide rate, and its determinants. Or maybe Abe doesn't give a fig?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't see why people have the need to use public transit to end their lives. WHY? Just quietly go jump off a cliff, and don't involve thousands of people in your problems. We don't want to know!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Barriers and sliding doors would be good at those stations which can have them but when a station has different trains of different sizes then it's not possible.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Barriers would work for drunks, not for those on purpose.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan has a long way to go before it reduces its suicide rate

Actually, the numbers have been dropping for over 5 years straight, with a decrease of over 20% since the peak.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Barriers should be put up to prevent accidents. Although tragic, this is not an accident. While barriers may deter people from jumping from a platform, there are many other ways to jump in front of a train. There are many train crossings in my neighboorhod which would be fairly simple to get on the tracks. If we live in a society where we need to put up barriers to prevent suicides then something is wrong with society, not the train operators.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Westerners views of suicide and the Asians (Japanese in this case) view of suicide is totally different.

Beginning with for Westerners (most Abrahamic faiths) catalogs suicide as a sin.... whereas in Japan, suicide is more of a honor (it may be a relative old view though, but it is part of the core culture).

So the western approach for reducing suicides may not be very well coupled here in Japan.

By the way... barriers I think they are good, and will reduce the numbers of accidents... but for suicides i doubt it.

1 ( +5 / -3 )

Yeah, barriers would stop jumpers, but they would just find another station and jump there. Putting up barriers is only treating the symptoms and not addressing the cause. Shin-Koiwa station in Chiba has had ten people jump in the last three years. The JR Narita express barrels through there at 100k+ and the jumpers know they are sure to die. The money spent on barriers would be better spent on improving the quality of life for the population. Even increasing mental health services is treating the symptoms. They have to address the cause of why nearly 100 people kill themselves every day in Japan instead of suppressing it in the news and ignoring it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I feel dreadful for the train drivers and those at the scene. It is regrettable that in planning their suicides, these two men did not show consideration for others and the impact they would cause. RIP.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Suicides in the port town where I was born, Mombasa, are almost unheard of! Poor yes some people are! But suicide hits the media headlines when it does happen! There is something wrong much much deeper in the society that perhaps for us Gaijins is too complex to understand! Is it despair after a mishap, tragedy or loss of work? Is it adult bullying which is rampant in the country but no one wants to address? Is it the crammed stresses that explode and lead to solution less suicides ? This is the underlying issue that needs enlightening to stop the 30,000 something souls disappearing annually!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Passengers don't need access to the tracks. Full floor to ceiling barriers with doors that open only when the train is aligned are possible.

It will not stop them. Why go to a station where barriers are, when you can just wait on the street as the train passes and jump in front of it.

If a person wants to die by being hit by a train, they are going to find a way to do so, either at the station or on the road.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They have to address the cause of why nearly 100 people kill themselves every day in Japan instead of suppressing it in the news and ignoring it.

The world health organisation recommends that suicide not be covered by the news since it encourages other suicides.

The largest cause of suicide (40%) in Japan is reasons of health, and as David Neagari pointed out, that Japanese have not been taught that suicide is a sin. Perhaps they should be taught that they will burn forever if they kill themselves? I think that would be a bad idea.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Life is painful for those who have problems and don't know how to deal with them their antidote is death a reality they feel they can deal with!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They have to address the cause of why nearly 100 people kill themselves every day in Japan

70 is not "nearly 100." You added 40%.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Selfish bastards. This horrific public display of suicide is done with the specific hope of traumatizing witnesses for life (including young children) because "the world has been so bad to them".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It's amazing that people will still come on and sympathize with the people who did this as though they were the victims, and where is the person who, when the second woman in a week killed her children and herself, talked about how much courage it takes for people to kill themselves while those who do not are cowards? These two selfish men have likely traumatized the driver for life, as well as many if not all of the people who were standing on the platform, likely some of whom were spattered in blood and/or body parts. I don't care about the money or time it cost the company, although if some of the people waiting missed out on very important events it is a shame, but the psychological trauma it cost the TRUE victims (ie. those who had to see it and suffer from it) is too much. These men were cowards. I agree it's a shame they reached the point where they felt they had no options but to do this, but I have only pity for those who have to suffer from the men's selfishness, including their families (who are likely to be sued by the train company, by the way).

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I hate to say this on the day that Robin Williams died, but anyone who takes their own life is simply a coward. And those who feel the need to involve everyone else in their problems goes beyond being a coward....its just plain self-centered and ridiculous!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

In the early 90's there was a triple suicide of businessmen in the western Tokyo suburb of Kunitachi. A business deal had gone bad leaving the three of them bankrupt. They each rented a room in a hotel and hung themselves. Can you imagine what the poor housekeeper thought when one body was found, only to find another in the next room, and then another in the next?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this was rather smart of the guys since the clean-up fee and delay charges will be split equally between the two families. i think it's something like 1,000,000 yen. i'm guessing they had a life insurance policy and did it for the payout.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

anyone who takes their own life is simply a coward.

Why?! As Kaimycahl says, there are ways of dealing with problems and suicide is one of them - though he or she appears to be joking. What is the origin of the knee jerk "suicide is bad"? Dying is bad but we are all going to do it. Life is not necessarily better the longer it is. Choosing when to die is a choice and there is no way that the Japanese are going to be convinced that suicide is a "sin" when national heroes such as the 47 samurai have been immortalised.

Inconveniencing and traumatising others is a kind of terrorism, and no one approves but I would like to know why so other people do not do it again. Apparently they were brothers one 59 the other 61 living together in Shibuya. http://mainichi.jp/select/news/m20140812k0000m040090000c.html

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Mirai: "And those who feel the need to involve everyone else in their problems goes beyond being a coward....its just plain self-centered and ridiculous!"

Agreed, though while it's a shame anyone sinks so low they have to take their own life, as I have said before I can understand it to an extent if it involves terminal illness and incredible pain and suffering. I doubt very much these two fit into that category. Far more likely it's just a couple of middle-aged/old codgers who are unhappy with married life and/or marred with debt from bad choices, and this is their way out.

rickyvee: Do they still get the payout for suicide?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Agreed, though while it's a shame anyone sinks so low they have to take their own life, as I have said before I can understand it to an extent if it involves terminal illness and incredible pain and suffering. I doubt very much these two fit into that category. Far more likely it's just a couple of middle-aged/old codgers who are unhappy with married life and/or marred with debt from bad choices, and this is their way out.

Based on this article?? Are you serious smith?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Train barriers would not stup suicide jumpers, but they would prevent the accidents that we see sometimes. Especially some subway stations in Tokyo have barely a meter between wall and track... scary. I am all for installing them in Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nigelboy: "Based on this article?? Are you serious smith?"

And once again, you have no opinion, just come on here to attack others. Based on this article, yes -- more importantly the fact this article is just about like EVERY OTHER (and there are far too many) article where people jump in front of trains -- save that this time it was a double. I said it was "far more likely" that they were just unhappy or had financial problems they sought to avoid responsibility for, same as happens to the tune of a good number of the 70/day suicides in Japan on average.

WilliB: "Train barriers would not stup suicide jumpers, but they would prevent the accidents that we see sometimes."

Exactly, though I think it WOULD stop jumpers who might do it 'on impulse', or that feel they have to make more of an effort to succeed than just stepping off the ledge. They can't economically go in and install barriers at every station, and if they did they definitely could not at every railroad crossing, where people who wanted to do the deed could ultimately go to. I think the money should go more into raising awareness of how wrong suicide is in general (and not using AKB or cute anime characters to do it!) -- that there is help available -- and then in institutions to help people avoid it. Most money going into doing the latter first would not help people shake off the stigma of opening up and seeking help when you feel backed into a corner. We have to find a way to let people know that there are options (well, in cases outside terminal illness), and that it's okay to seek them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It's so sad to hear about people listening to and believing that voice in their head saying 'just kill yourself why don't you'. We need to educate people about how to live in the moment and not in the noise (read 'b%^lshit) in our heads.

When you hear hateful, self-destructive voices like that practice turning your attention away to the breathe. How sadly naive humanity can be.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

everybody must be free to live or die; however this possibility mustn't involve others like train driver. Sometimes the percentage of suicide reflects the degree of the unhappiness of a society, but the solution can't be provided by the government, the only way to resolve this problem isolving inner of ourselves. There are a phrase that resolve this: after every storm becomes sunlight

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"One man jumped and the second man did likewise, in what police believe may have been a joint suicide." The JP have an amazing powers of deduction, all crimes will be solved within 10 minutes at this rate. I hope the train driver gets counciling after this, do they??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since Japanese trains always stop where they're meant to, why not introduce clear perspex barriers, 2 metres tall with the only opening an arch where the doors are, which slide open only when the train's doors do so. Or is that too easy?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some lines like namboku line to have floor to ceiling doors. But those lines only use one type of carriage and the number of carriages is also fixed.

Other lines like the chuo/sobu lines also serve rush hour, local trains, Azusa, Kaiji., Nex, Tozai lines

0 ( +0 / -0 )

thunderbird

Since Japanese trains always stop where they're meant to, why not introduce clear perspex barriers, 2 metres tall with the only opening an arch where the doors are, which slide open only when the train's doors do so. Or is that too easy?

That's only possible when a station is serviced by a single type and size of train. Many stations are serviced by several types of trains then its not possible because all the doors are in different locations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was at Komaba Todaimae station this morning. The police chalk marks are still on the platform.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Come on guys, if they aren't jumping at trains, they will just jump and kill themselves elsewhere. Its a deep underlying issue no one has addressed.

These people have no hope in life outside of the material present, lack of religion is part of this and also, Japanese social attitudes to punctuality and loyalty should be more flexible. Sometimes, it is okay to be late for work, losing your job isn't all that bad despite what your peers and society perpetuate and make you believe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smithinjapan

It's amazing that people will still come on and sympathize with the people who did this as though they were the victims,

Mirai Hayashi

I hate to say this on the day that Robin Williams died, but anyone who takes their own life is simply a coward.

And yet you said it anyway. Wow. The ultimate self-centred egocentric view of the world. No empathy, no sympathy, just a reflection on how it makes YOU feel. The inconvenience of it, the affrontery of it.

I just want you both to know that I think your response is a shameful one. I hope you never suffer depression, or get so desperate in life that thoughts of ending it come to the fore. Because at that point will you realise the awful truth of what people go through in the low ebbs of their life. There are many, many complex reasons why people get to points of despair like this, and I doubt cowardice is one. In fact, I think soldiering on through utter despair and mental torment is the exact opposite of that.

Shame on you.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Stay in Japan long enough and sooner or latter you will see a suicide. I think its not so much the economy or as Daniel put it, an honorable way out, but more like a symptom of a sick society. Exreme self introspective, introversion, an aversion to any form self expression, conformity, losing oneself in their cell phones or manga, ..all modern day manestifations of bushido. Quiz and comedy shows try to fill the void, but the reality is Japan is quite different than the rest of the world

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There are many, many complex reasons why people get to points of despair like this, and I doubt cowardice is one

I think there is only one reason. Believing self-hating, egocentric, socially conditioned voices in the head. We need more mindfulness and awareness training in schools.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Tamarama

Yes, and I will say it again...when you take your own life, your are committing a selfish and cowardly act. Here's why:

People who commit suicide are so self-absorbed in their own sorrows, that they don't even stop to think how adversely they would affect the people around them if they took their own lives. All they can think about is a quick way to escape. Depression is difficult...yes, but its very treatable.

People with depression tend to think that depression has no end to it which is not true. If they seek help, they can overcome it. But treatment is often times difficult and can take a long time sometimes. But rather than battle it out, some people choose to take they own lives....that"s why I say its a very cowardly thing to do.

And when you do it by means where it jeopardizes the safety and well being of others, well its just plain unforgivable in my opinion. No one should have to share in another person's cowardly escape from life.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Mirai Hayashi Aug. 13, 2014 - 12:42AM JST If they seek help, they can overcome it. But treatment is often times difficult and can take a long time sometimes.

But your talking about Japan. A fear of stigma is particularly strong in Japanese society. There should be more community intervention programs targeting middle age and older people. Individuals who feel respected in their neighborhoods will be hesitant to risk stigmatization. This may well likely be because of their fear of others to know that they receive psychiatric services. If they receive services, the service that they receive should be completely confidential. Thus, individuals' fear of being known by others for receiving psychiatric help should be frequently discussed during treatment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I once went through a very hard time and now that I look back, it was definitely a form of depression. I thought I needed helped and went to a famous hospital's psychiatric ward in Tokyo. I saw a doctor for no longer than four minutes and he subscribed three kinds of medicine for me. Maybe it was his genuine lack of 'care' or the fact that I am adamant about taking medicine if at all possible, but I walked out of that hospital with a new determination to think more positively and try to make my life a bit less stressful. I never took the medicine he so easily subscribed and never went back to that hospital. That was over 15 years ago!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is behind in mental health problems treatments with all Japanese people. You guys were not alive yet but there were women who laid on railroad trucks during WW II, I used to pull out them with other students to bring to police station (main - not koban) . After that, boys and girls went school differently as boys and girls were prohibited to talk in our elementary school, then but girls talked in school, girls were big mouth then and teachers let us talk like when we grow up, don't copy them. Then, there were Shinju (double suicides) that was done in mountains. People who could not marry with different reasons. Those may be reduced now but sounds many people still use suicide, like Riken scientist. Not only social problems but also mental problems.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites