Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge Photo: Kim Rötzel/Wikipedia
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Man gets out of taxi on Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge; then jumps to his death

56 Comments

A 20-year-old man riding in a taxi across the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, which links Kobe with Awaji Island, asked the driver to stop, then got out and jumped from the bridge into the sea below, on Sunday.

The taxi driver told police the man got into his vehicle at around 1 p.m. outside JR Maiko Station and asked to be taken to Awaji Island, Sankei Shimbun reported. When they were on the bridge at 1:25 p.m., the man asked the driver to stop. He got out of the vehicle without paying the fare, climbed over the 1.3-meter-high bridge rail and jumped into the sea.

The driver called 110. The man’s body was found 40 minutes later floating about two kilometers off the coast of Tarumi Ward in Kobe. Police said he was a company employee from Kobe but have not yet released his name.

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56 Comments
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How tragic.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

FYI. Back in Oct 2015 here in my home town.

Australia's most notorious suicide bridge: Barriers finally installed on Story Bridge, where 130 people have died since 1975 - and they even have a phone which connects directly to Lifeline

I am not saying every bridge in Japan needs to have barriers. I just want to let others know that there is bridge in the world that is such a hot spot for suicide jumpers that authority has to do something.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

That takes serious balls

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

I wonder how long the taxi driver will wait before he/she sends the taxi bill to the grieving family.

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

That takes serious balls

Absolutely!

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

He got out of the vehicle without paying the fare.

I wonder if the Taxi driver would have just driven away had the man paid the fare.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

The driver actually stopped! What was he thinking?

7 ( +16 / -9 )

It's definitely tragic.

On the other hand, that is so sureal. He calls himself a cab in order to commit a suicide.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Could at least have paid his fare....

9 ( +16 / -7 )

I can't understand why the driver would stop on that bridge - there is no place to stop legally there that I know of.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

That's a hell of a drop. I reckon he would be killed just from hitting the sea. Very strong currents can take a body kilometers. First time I heard of someone jumping from that bridge. All suicide is sad one so young.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Awful, the suicide epidemic amongst young men in Japan is tragic. Over 100% more male suicides in Japan than female, terrible stress this society places on men.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Higher numbers of suicides during the pandemic than in other ears. More deaths than from the corona.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Suicides in Japan seem to be extremely selfish. Either disrupting commuters by jumping in front of trains, endangering passersby by jumping off buildings or in this case wasting a taxi drivers time and earning potential. The government needs to have an education program to encourage socially acceptable suicide..

Or better still, choose life. Suicide is never the solution to any problem.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

commanteer Today  05:31 pm JST

I can't understand why the driver would stop on that bridge - there is no place to stop legally there that I know of.

Stopping anywhere - as long as you turn on your emergency blinkers - is acceptable across Japan.

/s

13 ( +14 / -1 )

That takes serious balls

More likely a serious mental illness. It's tragic when a boy of twenty still hasn't learned to cherish the precious gift of life despite all the tribulations that existence can inflict and has been unable to acquire the insight and wisdom to understand that even if life may seem meaningless, living is surely meaningful.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Reminiscent of one of those summer night TV ghost stories that give you a chill on the back of your neck and goosebumps.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lqZEp4Fb6qw

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Stopping anywhere - as long as you turn on your emergency blinkers - is acceptable across Japan.

A lot of drivers think that way. But I would expect a taxi driver to know better. There are large signs on that bridge clearly saying that stopping is forbidden.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Mocheake - The driver actually stopped! What was he thinking?

commanteer - I can't understand why the driver would stop on that bridge - there is no place to stop legally there that I know of.

blvtzpk - Stopping anywhere - as long as you turn on your emergency blinkers - is acceptable across Japan.

The legality of stopping is irrelevant. As Mocheake is presumably pointing out, why would the taxi driver stop, legal or not, knowing there is nothing for the young man to do in the middle of the bridge? How could he not infer what the man's intention was? It should have been blatantly obvious to anyone.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I mistook it for another case at Akashi-Kaikyo bridge. So they had happened two days in a row. A copycat for the second?

兵庫・明石海峡大橋で飛び降りか「路肩に車」 男性死亡

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/f9963df9cca720c52119b87d427ba7b565098c95

Suicides in Japan seem to be extremely selfish. Either disrupting commuters by jumping in front of trains, endangering passersby by jumping off buildings or in this case wasting a taxi drivers time and earning potential.

At least he shouldn't have got the taxi driver involved. Taxi fare hasn't been paid.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

''why would the taxi driver stop, legal or not, knowing there is nothing for the young man to do in the middle of the bridge?''

Take a picture, vommit, make a call...there are lots of things.

Leaping to ones death is not the first thing that would come to mind, I think it was reasonable for the driver to pull over when requested to do so.

Tragic story though.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

A little help, please! Can we ALL ask (again) for a simple addendum to these articles with a ‘help-line’ number? It might help one person or, curtail a sudden trend of ‘copycat’ suicides. Re: @noriahojanen 6:27p

Simple, to the effect: “If you, or someone you know, is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people here to help. Click here for more info.” _____.

The last time such a number was posted was during the rash of ‘celebrity’ suicides in summer 2020.

Nothing with the 3 subsequent articles 9/20, 10/13, 11/11/2020.

Do only celebrity deaths get the extra attention?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

“Japan's suicides jump 16% in COVID-19 2nd wave: study” article from 1/17/21 has been retired. @zichi 5:48p

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The ‘stopping on the bridge’ thing baffles me as well. I’m just wondering if it’s a case of ‘the customer is king’ in action.

In any case, a tragic story.

I also support SMH’s request that reports of suicides be accompanied by a reference to a suicide prevention hotline. This is a pretty standard approach for most media providers these days.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We’re still waiting for the Education ministry’s promised “social media support platform” 

prepared for the ‘growing number of children with smartphonesreported last week Feb 16, 2021,

in the article : “No. of juvenile suicides in Japan hits record-high 479 in 2020”. Where’s the follow-through??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do you know there are the countries whose suicide rates of the young people are more than Japan ?

Please refer to the attached one. I can't understand why/

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/byline/otatoshimasa/20200910-00197097/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

spinningplates

''why would the taxi driver stop, legal or not, knowing there is nothing for the young man to do in the middle of the bridge?''

Take a picture, vommit, make a call...there are lots of things.

Leaping to ones death is not the first thing that would come to mind, I think it was reasonable for the driver to pull over when requested to do so.

It's the first thing that comes to my mind. And, should be the first thing that comes to anyone's mind.

It's a damn bridge.

And, FYI, mobile phones work in moving vehicles.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I wonder how long the taxi driver will wait before he/she sends the taxi bill to the grieving family.

Why wait?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The taxi fare would be less than ¥1,000.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There are no signs about not stopping. There's a sort of hard shoulder and emergency phones for those who break down.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Very bad manners not to pay the fare first. Poor chap has to make a living.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So the taxi driver should be arrested and charged with aiding and abetting a crime , suicide ! Surely he must have known ?

But then hey a taxi driver in Japan ..............mebbe not .......some of em aint so smart are they, seen the way they change lanes n stuff ?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

I wonder how long the taxi driver will wait before he/she sends the taxi bill to the grieving family.

And he/she should. The driver may have a family to provide for. The jumper selfishly robbed the driver of time and money—essentially bread from the mouths of the driver’s family. Then the shutdown of traffic, affecting the lives of others. People don’t care. Just self-righteous indignation.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are no signs about not stopping. There's a sort of hard shoulder and emergency phones for those who break down.

This is posted numerous times along the bridge: 駐車止禁止 Check it out on Google if you want.

Of course there are emergency phones. They are for emergencies, when people have no choice but to stop. Nobody stops on that stretch of road unless they are forced to. So I would expect any taxi driver to refuse to stop until they had cleared the bridge. That's why I find it odd that this driver did stop. Maybe the passenger was acting violently or erratically, and the driver was happy to let him leave. But in a normal situation, no driver would stop for a passenger on that bridge.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh well this guy will set a trend this will be the next drop off point of no return.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe the passenger was acting violently or erratically

He didn’t ask him politely to stop, but rather demanding it. The driver got scared and stopped at a shoulder.

I think the first thing that would come to most people’s mind (especially taxi drivers) is that the passenger suddenly got sick.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a loser, not only did he commit suicide but he stiffed the poor taxi driver for the fare!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I drive across that bridge all the time it scares the hell out of me when I look down. The railing is really low so people can enjoy the spectacular view but for me it's frightening.

That's a pretty high fall. Serious guts to hurl yourself over that edge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Very sad for everyone concerned

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sad. I am sure his family is devastated. I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco many times and there are numerous signs to call from the attached callbox if you are having suicidal feelings. I imagined that one with many tough problems might realize on the bridge that in under 20 seconds it could all be over. The impact itself will kill you in my understanding.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why stop? the driver should have known something is wrong! could have saved this man's life , but then he could just walk back and jumped, wishful thinking i guess.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Could not pay because that will cool him down, he wanted to do it instantly. LOL

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Surely, many can imagine by virtually ‘putting on his shoes’, why he did it, although there’s not the full information above. But it’s quite clear. There is also nothing a free helpline can do in such a case.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wonder what motivated him to leap to his death without second thoughts as if he was going for a little swim? Root cause analysis please.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@yoshisan88

I just want to let others know that there is bridge in the world that is such a hot spot for suicide jumpers that authority has to do something.

Thanks, yoshisan, Portland, Oregon, USA has one of those bridges also which had to be barrierized against the desperation which Life can drive people into.

Question: How do I parse this?

"...and has been unable to acquire the insight and wisdom to understand that even if life may seem meaningless, living is surely meaningful."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Above the bridge is a "bridge museum". Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please refrain from reporting on suicides. Go check the stats for copycat suicides - it will alarm you.

Many countries (e.g. NZ) ban such reporting for this reason to reduce suicide rates

Why is this story even necessary except for clickbait and morbid curiosity.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Unfortunately  it happens quite a bit. The Golden Gate bridge has suicide rails on it. Life is worth living. If you get fired or break up with a gf or bf grieve a little and then forget about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Awful, the suicide epidemic amongst young men in Japan is tragic. Over 100% more male suicides in Japan than female, terrible stress this society places on men.

Don't do It, life is beautiful..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sad, sadder still the compassion shown for a young man taking his life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Don't do It, life is beautiful..”

true but when people get to the dark places in our souls they are not thinking straight or thinking of other or paying flipping taxi fares. The adrenaline is going and they just want it to end. RIP, and condolences to his family.

to think the guy is selfish is reprehensible.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Golden Gate bridge has suicide rails on it. 

The Golden Gate Bridge allows pedestrians to walk across it, so it makes sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Golden Gate bridge has suicide rails on it. 

Pretty hard to stop a dedicated suicidal individual.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pretty hard to stop a dedicated suicidal individual.

I never saw the point either. Suicide rails are expensive, and it's not as though there aren't dozens of other high places to jump from. Never heard anyone say "If I can't jump from that particular bridge, the I guess I'll have to not commit suicide."

I think only a small fraction of jumping suicides are spur of the moment decisions, in which case the rails would help. In this case, the driver simply refusing to stop illegally might have saved the guy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

After 'religion', 'desperation' is Mankind's most fatal social disease and, as here, takes from us good people who cannot tolerate this place and time in which their lives are occurring. It's unlikely that a single event causes an otherwise happy individual to seek the end of being but the accumulation of events, experiences, observations of others' tragedies, and then, perhaps, that one indigestible perception, injury, loss, and tolerance and will to live crash and only blackness seems able to cure blackness. Voluntary precocious departure is happening for someone even as I write, you read. What can we do? How do we cure the disease of Human terminal desperation? I don't believe it's by saying "Life is worth living" as a trump chant. In America in 2018, over 46,000 Americans disagreed with that sentiment for, maybe, 46,000 different 'reasons'. But they had NO OTHER SOLUTIONS. For those of us who go on here only because we realize the temporariness of being here, when we hear "Life is worth living" our first thought is "Why do you think that?". Rarely is there a cogent response. "Um...welll. um...food?" (America, remember). And then there is the question, "Does free fall cause regret?" Why not, everything else we do seems to contain irony in some form, why not this too? 20, just a lad. Requiescate in pace, my child. Your sadness is now, in some part, mine...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One can only imagine the thoughts going his head during his final destination. Whatever demons he fought within, he may be at peace now. But one can also imagine the pridicament the driver has been placed in with an outstanding bill and a dead person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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