The number of suicides reported in Japan in 2021 was 21,007, 74 fewer than 2020, a government white paper compiled by the health ministry showed.
According to the white paper, released on Friday, 13,939 men took their own lives, down 116 from the previous year, while 7,068 women committed suicide, up 42 from 2020.
A health ministry official suggested the high rate of suicides among women may be due to their being victims of domestic abuse from partners spending more time at home due to the pandemic, and also to the fact that many women in the hospitality and retail sectors lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. The white paper also pointed out that the number of single men and women living alone had increased, which could be a contributing factor.
The white paper follows the results of a study conducted by a team of researchers between 2020 and 2021, released in August, which also showed a rise in suicides by women, Kyodo News reported. Taisuke Nakata, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo, who was one of the researchers, said women, who have more nonregular jobs than men, tend to be more affected economically, while young people are possibly more likely to be forced into isolation due to behavioral restrictions.
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