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Japan's youth suicides hit 30-year high


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A total of 250 children in elementary school, middle school and high school killed themselves in the fiscal year through March, up from 245 the previous year, according to a ministry survey. That was the highest since 1986, when 268 students took their own lives.

The scariest thing about that figure is that it understates how bad this problem is becoming. There were almost twice as many kids in Japan in 1986 as there are now. So the suicide rate as a proportion of the population has increased by a significant margin.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

Sad story to read here. Japan needs it’s youth. Population is in decline right?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I stated that youth suicides were increasing In Japan the other day after a report of a young girl jumping in front of a train. I hope those who doubted me and called for me to show statistics are paying attention now.

So, in Japan they have an increase in youth suicide, a massive increase in child abuse and a major increase in bullying cases in schools. This comes with a near 20% drop in births over the last two decades. Less kids, but more suicides, abuse and bullying? You don't have to be a genius to see a pattern of a society under pressure. It's always the kids that become the targets.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

. It's always the kids that become the target.

Not always. Sometimes it is the elderly and women or minorities.


6 ( +8 / -2 )

140 were unknown

Technology, maybe?

When in doubt...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is a sad statistic, and many reasons that politicians and people won't admit, or just ignore. There is so much pressure kids have to face in todays society, they don't have time to be children. School pressures, bullying, social media, Juku, school clubs, pressure from parents to study and pass tests, latch key kids, going home to an empty house every day, both parents working , or pressures from living in a single parent family, were the sole bread winner either a father or mother has to work crazy hours, children stuck in nurseries from morning till night, the list is endless . So the child never gets chance to a child. maybe at weekends, but then the parents or parent is either working or sleeping, no time to listen to their own children. Society in general has collapsed world wide, no job security anymore, money problems, etc, the list goes on. If the parents have so many problems how do you think they find time to listen to the problems of their children. Perhaps the lack of empathy, probably cultural as well, a pat on the back and a well done now and again from those who teach and parent would probably go a long way, I know the child would feel good and appreciated.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Not always. Sometimes it is the elderly and women or minorities.

When it comes to suicide, males outnumber females considerably and in the West in particular

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate (male rate, female rate, male/female ratio)

7 ( +8 / -1 )

We don't make many children, and many of the ones we do kill themselves. What is wrong? What is to be done? Why is life so difficult for kids? It wasn't that difficult for me growing up in the 80 and 90s Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Youth suicide should be less than before given that the population is less and competition is much less.

It’s easier than every to go to University or get a job.

So what’s different? I’d say the one thing that has changed is divorce. There are so many children now in divorced families. And 70% of children don’t see one of their parents after divorce. If they do, it’s usually a few hours once a month. And not overnight.

So, life changes when you have to forget your father or mother exists. If there are custody or visitation disputes it can take years to settle, and children are often made to lie and/or say that they don’t want to meet the other parent.

That’s not easy to handle.

There’s also the widening gap between rich and poor.

As for

” or pressures from living in a single parent family, were the sole bread winner either a father or mother has to work crazy hours”

I don’t agree with this at all. A single mother with two children in Tokyo makes more than most OL’s.

Many of them don’t work, or just work part-time.

Now that women know how much they get in welfare, divorce will further increase.

Remember, 150,000 children each year stop seeing one parent after divorce. That’s a million in ten years.

If things don’t change regarding after divorce care of children, wait for even more depression, mental illness, behavioral problems and yes, suicide in years to come.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Why don’t people care?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

So many statistics are fudged these days in Japan i don’t know what to believe anymore. They are just so afraid of losing face to the rest of the world.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

So sad. We need to do more as a society to help, starting with the government to encourage people with thoughts to suicide to come out and learn, and speak with others, rather than to try and hide it until the deed is done. Awareness, and education, as well as 24/7 hotlines and services to help people in need.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Free that weed and loosen up society a little. Put the cell phone down. I teach 20 year old that have about as much life expreeince as the average 12 year old back in the states/UK. Then bam work 60 hour weeks the second they graduate college (now that 60% are going to college), and the other 40% are working blue collar labor jobs, 6 days a week also 60 hours. Whats your hobby? Getting off work staring at my cell phone till I fall asleep. But.... you stare at your cell phone as your walk to your car, drive your car, and walk down the street.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are these Japanese mad.

There is so much unconscious biases un Japan which they are not aware of. What do they mean thet can't determine the reasons.

Isn't it obvious the strict systems and unwanted long hours at school and work which still are very low in productivity are killing people.Stop making such long and stupid processes at work school banks and everyday life. Keep the good things and make rest either optional or reduce the burden on people.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Although Japanese have it good in many ways, it is one stressful nationality to be.

And children are over worked and studied and that continues on into adulthood.

If you are slightly out of the loop in Japan, like slightly slow, not as able as others, or cannot adapt...life can be very hard with little chance of respite.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Priorities. Work hard. Study hard. Get into a good school then a good university then a good company then a good spouse. What’s missing? Nothing. Life is beautiful. I really am sorry for these young people. The concept of happiness is intimately connected to monetary success. Of course it’s a must, but life here is empty. Quality of life is a non-concept if not linked to a name company and a good salary. Pity. Success at what price? Your life!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I bet the real number is a lot higher. Kids are sleep deprived to perform on exams so millions of people in Japan are brain damaged as their frontal lobe did not develop properly due to lack of sleep in adolescent years.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What a colossal national crisis. I always get a knot in my gut when I read this. A society that does nothing to help its children should stop and pay attention

4 ( +4 / -0 )

chloe Koba:

Isn't it obvious the strict systems and unwanted long hours at school and work... 

I think blaming society for suicide IS one of the reasons why children commit suicide today. Child suicide can be a form of personal revenge against his/her peers/teachers/parents in the hope that their ultimate play as a heroic victim will shame their peers or schools or parents.

I have no sympathy for people who commit suicide. They had other choices but they chose killing themselves acting as "poor" victims for dealing with their problems.

I believe Japan's suicide rate will go down quickly if we stop sympathising them and avoid becoming a part of their ploy to do a revenge for them (the is, criticizing social environment such as peers/teachers/schools/parents/systems, etc.).

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Suicide isn't a "national crisis".

Among youths 13 to 29, it's a global epidemic. And it's directly connected to the way capitalist societies work.

However in Japan and South Korea the issue is a red-alert; to keep things in perspective: my country has almost double Japanese population yet suicide rate in Japan is 214% higher.

Combine that with low birth rates (Japan will lose 6 million nationals between 2019 ~ 2030) plus anti-immigration policy then you get the picture.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is sad, but to put in in perspective with other countries;

Japans youth suicide rate is about average amongst OECD countries.

NZ (my country) has BY FAR the highest rate of youth suicide, at nearly 4 x that of Japan! NZ is an outlier on many such bad stats.

Japan’s rate is more than the UK but less than US, Canada, Australia etc.

If you’d like to see where other countries sit, here’s a link to an oecd report:


2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don’t agree with this at all. A single mother with two children in Tokyo makes more than most OL’s.

You're going to need to provide a cite before most of us will accept this assertion. It smacks of the "Cadillac driving welfare queens," which don't exist but conservatives in the US moan about.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Lack of empathy comes to my mind.

I have examples I can't give details about which show many Japanese live in their brain like in a prison, shackled in every move they make (school, family, sports...).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the poor quality of and stigma attached to mental health care here I suspect is the reason. The government should not raise taxes but increase the number of taxpayers by stopping this trend.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it said the people choose this as a solution but if someoneis determined to commit suicide there's very little you can do about it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it's sad that

0 ( +0 / -0 )


The brain damage mass assessment of an entire nation is a tad hysteric.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We just returned from Japan visiting family.

There's just so much stress put on Japanese to hang on to all the old traditions. I wish they would let go of some of the strict traditions and let people be more relaxed at work, school, everywhere. My husband has been in America longer now than Japan and when he gave his brother a hug goodbye - I smiled when his brother returned the hug. Hugging my family members is always met with awkwardness. I know they love me....they just don't hug me when I hug them.

It breaks my heart that suicide is on the uptick.

At least they don't have guns...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japanese suicide number is going down. Abe's politics works well in Japan now.

The ranking of suicide is 30th now with WHO data. Still it's no good level, but not the worst.

The rate is lower than Belgium and some East European countries now.

And the rate will become lower than America's rate in 2 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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