A headset attached to a phone is seen at a Tokyo suicide hotline center. Photo: REUTERS file
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Japan's suicides jump 16% in COVID-19 2nd wave: study

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it is sad ....life is so beautiful that you have to think 1.000.000 times before ending your life.

ending your life will not change anything.. you only upset people who love you. that is it.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

I don't think the virus itself that is causing the suicides, it's the draconian response to it.

-8 ( +28 / -36 )

Taro Kono, administrative and regulatory reform minister, told Reuters on Thursday that while the government would consider extending the state of emergency, it "cannot kill the economy."

The government is doing just that!

It is killing the economy!

When people are told to stay at home due to infectious diseases that are not causing high numbers of fatalities then economic chaos ensues.

Yesterday, the news was primarily concentrated on the spread of the virus, the side effects

(mental and physical) how talking spreads the virus, local shopping areas, with or without people etc.

It is all about fear and despair-is it any wonder people are killing themselves?

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

Quite the headline..."suicides jump"...in front of the trains?

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I don't think the virus itself that is causing the suicides, it's the draconian response to it.

Draconian response to the virus in Japan? You clearly don’t live here or know what is going on.

16 ( +34 / -18 )

while the government would consider extending the state of emergency, it "cannot kill the economy."

Translation: "We need the Chinese money and the Olympics."

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Yesterday there was an article about the bankruptcies actually decreasing in 2020, so I don't by the economic hardship explanation.

Instead, for many younger people, this was the first time they actually noticed how incompetent their government was, giving no hope for the future. This can also push some people over the edge.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

There is a clear positive correlation between suicide/suicidal tendency and unemployment, demonstrated in many studies. The state job is to save as many lives as possible under various life-threats.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

 when the government offered generous handouts to people, a survey found.

One payment of Y100 000 is considered generous. I think this is the reason that people might be going to the extreme and killing themselves is that there is just not enough support from the government. In Canada, people who have been affected have been receiving $2000 every month from the government. Why can't a rich country like Japan do something like that? Oh, because Aso Taro is in charge of the purse strings and he would never want to dole out "his" money to help the regular people of Japan. Only his cronies. Sickening!

24 ( +28 / -4 )

I don't think the virus itself that is causing the suicides, it's the draconian response to it.

Sadly the heavy hand of government has consequences. The government has a monopoly on power and it should be used with care. A balanced response to the pandemic will lean to less tragedies.

-17 ( +4 / -21 )

"People worry about COVID-19. But a lot of people have also committed suicide because they have lost their jobs, they have lost their income and couldn't see the hope," he said.

What is this ‘hope’ you are expecting people to see Taro?

They’ve lost their jobs, their income, there is very little mental health support as it is never mind in the current situation. The government is doing very little to provide a safety net for people losing their jobs.

What hope should people be seeing?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Many people had predicted that the various (ineffective) measures would cause this.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

These numbers are meaningless.... Just like the grand old Duke of York..

First they were up then they were down then they were up again.... No clear pattern to say anything. Suicides up in winter? Covid or just the miserable cold weather?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

We probably won’t see too many comments here from all those people who were calling for a complete lockdown.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

Taro Kono, administrative and regulatory reform minister, told Reuters on Thursday that while the government would consider extending the state of emergency, it "cannot kill the economy."

The essential workers and consumers are the basis of the economy and the government is not helping them. This rise in the suicide rate is partly due to the only bailing out secotrs of the economy like finance, Dentsu, big travel businesses et al and allowing the majority of the working public to suffer in silence. Policymakers like Kono have blood on their hands.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Proof that the government has been consistently incompetent. Suicide rates will only increase in the coming months as government imposed restrictions will devastate the country’s economy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan’s suicide rate is only one percent higher than USA, but everybody like to make japan out as the worst in the world.

the fact is that society is failing no matter where. Lost a good friend to suicide,

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

When I lost my business to covid, I considered it. I spiraled for a while, drank cheap liquor heavily. Damage was done, but I had to find a way forward. Haven't touched alcohol for 6 months now. We are carrying on...

It's easy for people to espouse the mass media narrative and appear to 'care the most'. They don't realise that the media want to sell stories. And they don't realise the damage it does...

21 ( +21 / -0 )

I don't think the virus itself that is causing the suicides, it's the draconian response to it.

Also the media fear-mongering. I saw on twitter apparently a child in Ireland set themselves on fire because they thought they were going to get the coronavirus, which is so sad if it's true because they're unlikely to be affected by it.

I do think the Japanese government is handling it all better than most other countries, not this 1-dimensional & oversimplified obsession with 'cases', but they could do a little more to support people who've lost their jobs maybe

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Agentx you are my hero, never give up, you never know the happiness around the corner if you don't turn the corner. People need hope and the sence to make hope. Happy vibes to everyone. Life is a changing dynamic, it's never over unless you give up.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I don't think the virus itself that is causing the suicides, it's the draconian response to it.

Japan hasn’t implemented a draconian response.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Housewives, seriously?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This government is not helping its people at all ...disgusting

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Japan’s suicide rate is only one per cent higher than USA.

Umm.......NO! It’s at least 3 per one hundred thousand higher and was considerably MORE than that for many years, until the numbers of Japanese suicides dropped to the low 20s from previously stratospheric levels; a positive trend that we’re already seeing go into reverse, largely due to the callous disregard shown towards those who are doing it tough.

https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/suicide-rate-by-country

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The additional heavy burden due to the virus' negative impacts must have become unbearable to many would-be suicides, hence the discomfiting sudden surge of suicide rate.

The government and community have been rather successful in helping to reduce the number before, could they help more this time?..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Despite the pandemic and suicide surge, Japan's overall death numbers in 2020 fortunately decreased by about 20,000, for the first time in 4 decades.

Meanwhile, suicides are likely committed by young and working age individuals under hardship. That's my growing concerns. Loss of their lives and sorrow for surviving family/friends would have impacts on the country's socioeconomic foundations in the long run. It may form a vicious circle unless the pattern is broken.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"The government is doing just that! It is killing the economy!" Better that than killing citizens, I'd venture. In fact, businesses have been impacted primarily due to the nature of their product/service, and a lot of companies have adapted technologically to the challenge of remote working. And in the final analysis, you can support the population with subsidies and bring a moribund economy back to life, but you can't reanimate a person, and the dead don't do a lot of work...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@expat

Exactly. Always wondering what these super-rich out-of-touch leaders mean when they say stuff like that. Surely, an ill, miserable population and people dying of preventable causes can't be too good for 'the economy'.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The economic support here is lacking. I already got a second payment to my US bank account and Biden will send a third soon. No hoops or applications either.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

We probably won’t see too many comments here from all those people who were calling for a complete lockdown.

The problem isn't the lockdowns (not that Japan has really had anything approaching a lockdown).

The problem is the almost complete lack of government support. A county as developed and wealthy as Japan should be able to provide much better support both for businesses and for people. But instead of that they've opted for dumb GoTo campaigns that don't help most businesses, and for giving one payment of a measly 100,000 yen 9 months ago.

Other countries like the UK or Canada are providing monthly payments to support either people or companies that employ them. Even the US with all the political deadlock over the past 6 months has managed 2-3 payments to people.

The study, based on health ministry data from November 2016 to October 2020, found the child suicide rate spiked 49% in the second wave, corresponding to the period after a nationwide school closure.

This is terrible. It's worth highlighting that this spike wasn't during the closure, but well after kids went back to school. AFAIK most schools in Japan restarted around September. A lot of them have been studying 6 days a week in an effort to catch up on missed time in the spring. (Plus I guess the school entrance exams were all looming in January).

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"People worry about COVID-19. But a lot of people have also committed suicide because they have lost their jobs,"

Sounds to me like they have killed themselves while not getting more help, one way or another. Jobs were lost before, too, and the rate went DOWN because we got a one shot 100,000 yen to help, kids were safe at home, etc. Now we've got none of that, and rates are sky-rocketing. Now... what's the difference this time... hmmm...

I mean, no one is talking about killing the economy. How about Japan put a hold on all those land-to-air/sea Aegis missile defense systems, the jet fighter purchase promised to Trump, and any other cuts to the defense budget for this year alone and probably be able to give assistance and then some to every family in the nation, plus all businesses that NEED assistance. No? Ah, well... 'can't kill the economy', right?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

... "couldn't see the hope..." Hard to see what is non-existent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sad but real.

many have lost income,are not capable pay own bills,take care of family,kids,see no light at the end of tunnel.

many have lost own business and run deep in debt hard to pay back if there is no income.

many have paid heavt taxes to this corrupted selfish government just to find when they are in ice-no one from this government really cares.

one time 100.000jpy cash handout and thats ALL.

than some "smart politicians" start wondering why suicide in Japan is on rise....

no testing,no vaccination,nothing.govermnment doing-nothing!!!

closing restaurants at 8 will solve this.make people more stressed and more desperate will not solve this.

and yes-there is still some "dream" abt Tokyo olympics all of us have to sponsor via our taxes...what a completely out of touch with reality feelings!!!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

and this the reason, why the Japanese government has to take a balance approach to Covid.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I saw on twitter apparently a child in Ireland set themselves on fire because they thought they were going to get the coronavirus

This didn't happen.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

We probably won’t see too many comments here from all those people who were calling for a complete lockdown.

Really? Here is one. It was quite clear, what the development will about to be, already in early spring last year you could calculate it with a very simple transition matrix, to keep it simple here, that’s not the audience for sophisticated logical or mathematical thinking here...lol btw. That took even me only five to ten minutes or so. Now look...If they had then implemented a complete lockdown assisted by border closures, and even only in the fewer affected countries at that time, we wouldn’t now discuss or shed tears about global economic, health system, corona victims and suicides, disasters on all areas , here and today. Nobody wanted or wants to listen, even now, but believe me, that virus with its variants are taking over instead and ‘shouting’ louder every wasted second, until you hear it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My own eyes show me what effect the government decrees are having.

For work, I regularly travel into large cities, medium size cities and out into the suburbs.

I know office workers, hospital staff, business owners and many others.

I can judge the footfall in different places due to years of familiarity.

I can easily see that city areas are less busy.

Anyone with a job that involves human contact is seeing a huge drop in business.

And as soon as the elites come up with another restriction then the people in Japan overly react .

I thank fate that I will soon be in a country which will be bouncing back as the people of Japan are just being vaccinated....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"I mean, no one is talking about killing the economy. How about Japan put a hold on all those land-to-air/sea Aegis missile defense systems, the jet fighter purchase promised to Trump, and any other cuts to the defense budget for this year alone and probably be able to give assistance and then some to every family in the nation, plus all businesses that NEED assistance. No? Ah, well... 'can't kill the economy', right?"

What about giving this type of advice to Korea?!

After all their suicide rates and World ranking in self-mutilation is much higher than Japan's.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think thinking of suicide as only a response to economic difficulties is being short sighted. It could be a reason for some but not for all. As pointed in the article, DV can also be a factor. Some commentator also pointed fragility which where not addressed. We could also consider the pressure on people which corner them. People were not just asked to protect themselves and their family (which can also be difficult as falling could have you take all the blame) but also the whole population, the whole medical system, the whole economic, ... Government should take its own burden which it was elected for and not throw it at people and then shame the people for not doing enough in one field or another.

If people try to control the pandemic in order to protect medical system and other people. Government complain about the burden on economic.

If the people try to save economic and other people job. Government complain about then going out and about. When you think about it, are the youngster really going out because they do not care or because they need to protect their job and friends job ?

The government should just accept that protecting economic, job, health, ... is its duty. It can not do it alone but what is the most logical choice as to what give to the population and to kept for them ? I believe the government should focus on job and economic and tell people/business to focus on controlling the spread : refrain going out, go for take out, limit the amount of customers to increase safety, telework, ... at least when the cases are on the rise&co ; we will protect the economic and job.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@AgentX

Thank you for sharing your story.

I wish you the best from here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reading the article, domestic violence has increased. I believe the increase in suicides, stated as occurring most for children, youth, and women, can be linked to ways of thinking which Japan needs to change. Ideas like "domestic violence is acceptable", "women must keep the home happy and safe", "on their own, men must earn enough for the family to thrive", "children must constantly strive for the next level (in whatever)", For myself, my family, my friends in Ireland and in the US during this pandemic we have learned to live more simply, play games and watch movies and take walks and exercise with our families, wave to neighbors and chat but not too closely, and most importantly STEP AWAY from the ideas i listed above. Think of this as a "gap year" for everyone. Some of our family and friends in Japan are doing this. I realize it is not easy, especially with small homes/apartments and the number of Japanese who live alone, however it can be done with community and local government help. Our church connections are helpful as well. This too shall pass.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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