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20,830 suicides reported in Japan in 2021

46 Comments

The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2021 was 20,830, the health and welfare ministry said Friday. The figure was 251 fewer than in 2020.

However, it was 661 higher than 2019, the year before the coronavirus spread.

The rate, by number of suicides per population of 100,000, was 16.5,

Of the total, 13,815 were males, an increase of 240 over 2021, while 7,015 were females, 92 more than in 2020.

Health ministry officials attributed the rise in suicides to effects of the prolonged coronavirus which has caused many people to lose their jobs or suffer a drop in income.

If you or someone you know in Japan are having suicidal thoughts, you can get help. Click here for more info.

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It’s much better than the 30,000+ suicides of the mid-2000’s. This statistic should also include an age group breakdown, specifically the youth suicide rate.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Random thought and slightly related: does Japanese police often claim suicide occurred to keep crime statistics low?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Dang. But I have to admit, even I had some not the great thoughts last year. Didn't think about taking my life but I thought about stop eating and just stay under the bridge, at the river in front of my place... Though year.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

At least it seems to be moving in the right direction which is good.

So much for all those claiming the past two years suicides would "skyrocket" due to Covid measures.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

I was feeling terrible about life until I read this. My life is actually great after reading about the suicide rates here in Japan in 2020 and 2021. The best is yet to come people. Don't ever give up!

12 ( +17 / -5 )

20,830 . . . That's a lot of people for one year from one country. It's like one small city.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

When I see how Corona vaccinated people treat or are willing to treat unvacinated people, (including discrimanation), I can really vomit.

Every day, some people are sitting in their start positions waiting to spit out their fearmongering and big apocalypse predictions on the internet, media or social media.

I have no idea what is the purpose of that.

Never let any of these idiots come into your mind.

Even the situation is bad, try to make the best out of it for you.

Every day another idiot appears, who enjoys to tell all his or her negative, end of the world predictions.

Just ignore them. Always look around you and judge by yourself how you go on with your life.

And always remember: this is YOUR life, not anyone else.

Don't let anyone dictate you, how to live your own life!

And always keep in mind: there is always sunshine and light in life!

...even there are people in this world, who are trying to tell you the opposite.

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

And always keep in mind: there is always sunshine and light in life!

Exactly, I made a list of all the positive things in my life and kept it under my keyboard at work. Then I always told myself that nothing is static. Today's feeling will change, it might take a day, week, year but it will change. I put down social media and read books on the train to work, did meditation on an ipod at lunchtime outside the office in a private space and gradually, bit by bit things got better. It's very difficult and really is something you can only understand once you go through it, mental illness is awful and I feel for anyone going through it but I can testify that things will get better, nothing is static.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 8,808 people committed suicide because of health reasons, 3,038 people committed suicide because of economic and life problems, and 990 people committed suicide because of hardships.

In addition, 460 primary and secondary school students committed suicide in 2021, a decrease of 40 from 2020.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Health ministry officials attributed the rise in suicides to effects of the prolonged coronavirus which has caused many people to lose their jobs or suffer a drop in income

And what has the government done to help the people who've lost their jobs and source of income? Nothing. They sent out one stimulus check during this entire pandemic, which barely covered rent. The government is partly to blame for these suicide stats.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The fact that there are twice as many suicides than covid deaths should show the government where the priorities in the future should be put. The government went nuts because of covid and spend billions but is not caring at all in helping to bring suicides down either by policy changes or by slow social enfeebling.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Health ministry officials attributed the rise in suicides to effects of the prolonged coronavirus which has caused many people to lose their jobs or suffer a drop in income.

The beginning of the article says it was down from the previous year.

there is always an underlying mind or mental issue exacerbated by negative external factors.

Keep positive. Watch the beauty of nature

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's shocking that so many deaths by suicide can happen in a country where there are so many beautiful places to visit, and experiences to have - just chilling out by the rivers, beaches, in the mountains, even in some parts of the sprawling cities - why do so many choose death when there is so much to do on this earth, having been given the chance to live in a free democratic country too. And knowing the pain it will cause to those left behind asking 'why'?

Crazy Japan.....

In Europe, Norway has same problem, mainly with men.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

‘It's much better than 30,000+ suicides of the mid-2000’s.’

Fewer people are killing themselves now. That’s good news. But things were better back then; the consumption tax rate was lower, health insurance and pension premiums were lower ,the average income was higher, food was cheaper and safer, and, of course, there was no coronavirus pandemic. Have people become so resigned, so crushed and so tame that they can’t even think of taking their own lives?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And…..what is being done to address this? Seems like half an article.

Japan Today, if you are going to run an article like this I think it’s a good thing to mention at the end of the piece where people can get help/counselling etc.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan Today, if you are going to run an article like this I think it’s a good thing to mention at the end of the piece where people can get help/counselling etc.

To be fair to JT they usually do, perhaps it will be added? Please.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Readers, sorry, it was an oversight on our part. It has now been added.

Just as an aside to this, most Western countries are getting away from the phrase "Committed Suicide" which can infer that the person has committed some kind of crime.

Instead we now just use the word 'Suicided".

Stay safe folks, and don't be afraid to talk about your feelings.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 8,808 people committed suicide because of health reasons, 3,038 people committed suicide because of economic and life problems, and 990 people committed suicide because of hardships.

And how, pray, did they do that?? Surveyed the dead? Or their families? Or, read and analysed suicide notes?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Health ministry officials attributed the rise in suicides to effects of the prolonged coronavirus which has caused many people to lose their jobs or suffer a drop in income.

What has the Japanese government done to help those in need or in financial straits?

The answer is very very little.

That is the reason for the rise in suicides, it is not a coronavirus that most people haven’t caught or haven’t even noticed catching.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I wonder how many of these suicides were business owners whose businesses failed due to pointless COVID measures, or people unable to meet family members living overseas because of futile border restrictions.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Depression is a walking time bomb. It needs psychiatric and pharmacological interventions. 

To anyone reading this who is undergoing depression right now, find 101 reasons to live and keep you going. 

Remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up. One day, you'll get through it, and you will be grateful that you did.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

More death by suicides in a year than covid the whole pandemic

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2021 was 20,830, the health and welfare ministry said Friday. The figure was 251 fewer than in 2020.

Of the total, 13,815 were males, an increase of 240 over 2021, while 7,015 were females, 92 more than in 2020.

Mods is it an increase or decrease of 240 over 2021(2020?)?

Probably decrease over 2020 or the total wouldn't be fewer than in 2020

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All good comments.

I wonder if the rates are higher in super cities like Tokyo....a whole new level of suffering if you are having trouble coping.

Chinese medicine thought is that the colour green is comforting to the spirit so no surprise a walk in the many forests of Japan a dose of therapy.

Depression is a mongrel disease, You probably have to accept its presence as part of your personal makeup.

A well researched article once spoke of the things that make for a happy life.

1/Someone to love

2/Someone or something to care for.

3/Something to do.

4/Something to look forward to.

5/A sense of metaphysical connection to the world and universe.

Stay safe and lots of love to fellow sufferers of the black dog

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's shocking that so many deaths by suicide can happen in a country where there are so many beautiful places to visit, and experiences to have

It takes a toll on someone when you think you’re constantly being judged by people you don’t know. It’s worse when people have no idea how to make deep friendships which is about letting your guard down and allowing people to see through you - a concept Japanese people find difficult to grasp.

I’ve been in Japan for a long time and I still don’t know how to make them open up to me. Everytime I start a conversation, I always feel like there’s an unbreakable wall. No spark.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now the stock market is collapsing, I'm expecting more tragic news like suicides.

Stay healthy guys!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It is good that the number has dropped since the 2000s when it was one of the highest rates in the world. I checked the world rates and was surprised to see the US rate higher than Japan, and also South Korea's phenomenally high rate

These are some suicide rates for 2021 from World Population Review

South Korea 28.6

Russia 25.1

US 16.1

Japan 15.3

Australia 12.5

Canada 11.8

NZ 11

China 8.1

UK 7.9

Stopping drinking and taking up hiking made me feel a lot better

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Health ministry officials attributed the rise in suicides to effects of the prolonged coronavirus which has caused many people to lose their jobs or suffer a drop in income.

Wait a minute, has it not been repeatedly said by the general media and even here on JT

that Japan is suffering from acute labor shortage, then how come people lose their jobs and are unable

find another job and remain unemployed.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What is not included in these figure is the number of people that launch themselves from platforms into the paths of oncoming trains.

These accidents are classed as ‘accidents’ not ‘suicides’

If these numbers were to be included then Japan would, of course, be at the top of the list.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

*According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 8,808 people committed suicide because of health reasons, 3,038 people committed suicide because of economic and life problems, and 990 people committed suicide because of hardships.*

His hardship not the result of economic and life problems, why is it separated ?

Is it on purpose to obscure the fact that many people are committing suicide because

of economic hardship.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Missing info is that there must be a large number of suicide attempts or surviving suicidal people under intensive care (but some end up being in vegetation state).

Many young and working age people constitute the majority in suicidal cases. They are victims of covid failed responses, not covid itself.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What is not included in these figure is the number of people that launch themselves from platforms into the paths of oncoming trains.

These accidents are classed as ‘accidents’ not ‘suicides’

How can your assert that ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What is not included in these figure is the number of people that launch themselves from platforms into the paths of oncoming trains.

These accidents are classed as ‘accidents’ not ‘suicides’

If these numbers were to be included then Japan would, of course, be at the top of the list.

Unfortunately, lots of people believe the numbers thrown at them. you don't even need to have a functioning

brain to know it is suicide and not an accident. If you are in the Kansai area hundreds of Jinshin jiko occur annually on the JR line that runs from Hyogo to Shiga, extrapolate that to the entire country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More people dying by suicide than Covid in Japan. Imagine if the same amount of resources we spend on Covid went towards suicide prevention.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Today's feeling will change, it might take a day, week, year but it will change.

Some people are so cornered that they don't have a week to wait for things to

change. It is so easy for those with a job and a means to eat, pay bills and live under a

roof to say be patient and wait things will get better, for some things will only get worse

The society we live in now is not what it was 30-50 years ago when a lot of people really

cared now most people care only about themselves and how to enrich themselves, Alot of

people have allowed money to control them rather than them controlling money that is the reality,

even those tasked with seeing to the well being of the populace only care about money than

those needing help. I run a business as well and had to close my shop on Amazon cause Japan post

didn't accept shipment to the U.S and many markets like Australia and the middle east that were my main

market, sales decreased by over 90 percent , didn't receive one yen from the government as covid relieve

and as expected I was behind with my social security payments for my company, I got a call last october from

the pension office that I had not made my payments, I said yes I have not because sales had decreased over 90 percent due to covid, the guy said he has a document he wants me to sign urgently and post back to him, I received the document which indicated I had not paid and to sign that I was owing the gov't the said amount which amounted to about 720K. Not only did I not receive a single yen from the gov't except the 100K that everybody received but I am left with a large debt to the gov't, how does he expect me to pay without an income and a family to feed, pay fees, bills etc, things like this can force those who are mentally weak to snap or end their life. It is easy for people to say seek help but the reality is that those that doing everything to help have limited resources and capability whereas those that have the resources like the city are not interested in helping and will look the other way and pretend they are not aware of what is happening.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

18,469 deaths from covid in Japan since the pandemic, yet over 20,000 suicides last year alone. Crazy!

Not to mention that although most of those who passed away from covid were probably elderly, most of those who committed suicide were likely young or young-ish. It's tragic and the government needs to do more!

The whole world stops for covid, but nothing's done about a far, far bigger problem.

If the government spent a fraction of what it's spent on covid relief toward suicide prevention (more specifically, addressing the issues that drive people to suicide), so much help could be given to so many people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

that's a lot of deaths by suicide...... a LOT more than deaths by Covid even..... so the emotional health of Japan is perhaps considerably worse than the physical..... makes you think

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have personally been on trains and at stations where there have been ‘an accident’ -far too many to be coincidentally ‘accidents’

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Covid is a far bigger problem. The reason number of deaths is smaller is because considerable resources and effort have been already thrown at it. Even then there was no guarantee it would have work, like what is happening right now, we dont know how bad it could get.

Hope it will not be too bad because as mentioned covid also contributed/contributes to suicide rates

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mental illness is real these numbers will only rise considering there is very little help for many. With Covid unemployment people have lost their way. The only way things will get better in the future is having more support for people and recognizing mental illness is everyone’s problem not just the individual dealing with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mountaingrillJan. 22 12:29 pm JST

It is good that the number has dropped since the 2000s when it was one of the highest rates in the world. I checked the world rates and was surprised to see the US rate higher than Japan, and also South Korea's phenomenally high rate

These are some suicide rates for 2021 from World Population Review

South Korea 28.6

Russia 25.1

US 16.1

Japan 15.3

Australia 12.5

Canada 11.8

NZ 11

China 8.1

UK 7.9

One could interpret these stats as 'votes', VERY sincere votes, on the 'joy' of living in these 'free', winner take ALL, societies...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

More work needs to be done by the relevant government branches to reduce these numbers, I see so many people in need of mental help with NO where to go, and going to see a psychologist is even worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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