5 found dead in minivan in suspected group suicide in Niigata Prefecture


Five people were found dead in a minivan in Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, on Tuesday, in what police believe was a joint suicide.

Police received a call at around 11 a.m. from a passerby, saying there were five unresponsive passengers in a minivan in a parking lot, Sankei Shimbun reported. When police arrived at the scene, they found three women and two men in the vehicle.

All five were confirmed dead. Police said it appeared they had died from carbon monoxide poisoning after they found remnants of burnt charcoal briquettes inside the vehicle. The windows were sealed shut.

Police said the three women were in their 20s and the two men were in their 30s. None of the passengers had visible injuries inflicted on their bodies.

The minivan was a rental vehicle with a license plate outside of Niigata Prefecture.

The parking lot was near Naeba Ski Resort, where many hotels and villas are located.

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

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Is it related to financial issues or mental health? A lot of the time people forget that people in developed countries often lack support networks to provide in-kind help during times of need and that religious organisations tend to be less prevelant.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I suspect that it is related to the economic and social impact of Covid-19 sanctions.

No, if you have not been living under a rock for the last 5-10 years, you would know this has been going on for a long time. There are dedicated forums on the Internet for people who wish to do this to themselves. Again, you would know of that if you have not been under a rock.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Or maybe they belonged to a cult that sees suicide as a kind of salvation.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Or maybe they belonged to a cult that sees suicide as a kind of salvation.

That is pretty much what the forums are that I was talking about.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Difficult to discuss with such people and to convince them that it is the wrongest of all options, as they beforehand decided to leave any solution or discussion forever.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Group suicides seem to be a thing in Japan…

5 ( +7 / -2 )

They were pretty young who could have contributed to the future Japanese society.

Here comes an ethical dilemma that the corona responses have saved many at-risk groups of people namely very aged and retired on full pensions; with the responses and side effects, young and working aged Japanese who support their aged co-nationals and social security systems, are now deprived of lives and livelihood.

I suspect that it is related to the economic and social impact of Covid-19 sanctions.

No causality proven yet, but several key data have already shown the significant correlations between the curbing measures and rising suicide rates, regardless of place or culture. Japan's latest suicidal phenomena have never emerged out of void. They are now unnatural compared to ones in peacetime, and statistically significant.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What a shame.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The minivan was a rental vehicle with a license plate outside of Niigata Prefecture.

Really inconsiderate of them. I hope the rental company doesn't lose out. Suicides should use their own vehicles. Or better still...Choose life!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Police said the three women were in their 20s and the two men were in their 30s.

Awful, they had their whole lives ahead of them. Is life that bad in Japan?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If you, or anyone you know, feel stuck in circumstances that are causing depression or anxiety, know that it will pass.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Any one terrible incident that happens in Japan and immediately some people assume it's the whole country and every Japanese doing it. It's a country of 125 million people. It happens.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

People go through life having dreams with those dreams they some times turn to wishes then to hope, once there is no hope they feel they have nothing left. Their dreams either became a nightmare, their wishes become unfulfilled and all of their hope become despair. What is life, I guess it its what you make of it. What ever it comes out to be, in the end. IT IS WHAT IT IS!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nippon, it obviously something is wrong in Japanese society, that something like is this prevalent

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Suicide is an incredibly selfish act. It harms all those people that cared for, and loved the person committing suicide. Society must do everything it can to help people feeling suicidal as the knock on effects are huge.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If only there were a way to know the personal histories of these people who, five, could come to the same conclusion that leaving this place was better than staying, that oblivion was better than the emotions they were forced to experience here. My guess is that they were 'bright' people, 'aware' people, people who could clearly see the pain in those around them caused by the casual brutality of our Human World and could stand it no longer. When a single individual leaves us voluntarily, we can rationalize that they had idiosyncratic 'problems'.

But when five vitally young people can agree that this place is unworthy of their continued participation we must pause our assumptions and try to understand their perception. The difficulty may be that somewhere inside ourselves we know that if we could appreciate what they have seen, we, too, might be the subject of such stories.

And, of course, there will be the voices blaming 'Japan', but it is really only a difference im direction but not of spirit. Japanese people internalize their pain whereas, in America only as an example, these same feelings are externalized and we see the mass murders ending in the deaths of the perpetrators. Same root, different expression only.

And only sadness for everyone. Shou ga nai

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Police said the three women were in their 20s and the two men were in their 30s.

That is just sad. I can understand suicide if you are at the end of your life and/or have a terminal illness. But it sounds like these people would have had a life ahead of them. Sad for their parents too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only a deprave person would exploit someone vulnerability ,that need only somebody to feel their pain,that they are going through

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Need help in Japan?

Ganbatte ne...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

All of you making fun of the situation or calling these people selfish have no idea what depression that drives people this way is really like and just reveal that you are someone who cannot be trusted to confide in. Most people who are looking for a way out are doing so because they feel that is the best thing, not for themselves, but for those around them. The often feel that their life doesn't matter, nothing will get better for them, and that by dying, they are doing a service to everyone they feel like they are bothering. For those of you belittling Japan specifically for this, it is not something that is limited to this country alone, but is a world-wide issue but many countries keep this under wraps, or at the very least don't actively cover it because it is an "embarrassment" despite the need to make it publicly known so that those who need help know where they can get it, and those who belittle can learn to keep their mouths shut. As for prevention methods, there are often very obvious signs, but most people ignore them, usually because they don't understand that suddenly becoming more cheerful or very generous, or contacting people they don't normally talk to are signs that they will act soon. If you really don't want this to happen more often, do some research so you know how to help, or even just tell those around you how much they mean to you and how glad you are to have them in your life.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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