The total number of suicides in Japan in 2016 dropped below 22,000 for the first time since 1995, according to a preliminary report issued by the National Police Agency (NPA) on Friday.
The NPA said that 21,764 people killed themselves in Japan between Jan 1 and Dec 31 last year, a reduction of 2,261 from 2015, and the seventh straight annual decline, Fuji TV reported.
Of those who killed themselves, 15,017 were males and 6,747 females, the NPA said, listing health and financial problems as the most likely causes. The age group with the most suicides were people in their 40s (3,442), followed by 50s (3,345) and 60s (3,323).
By region, the highest number of suicides -- 2,215 -- occurred in Tokyo, followed by Hokkaido, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi and Osaka prefectures, while the lowest suicide numbers were recorded in Akita, Iwate and Wakayama prefectures.
A steady decline began in 2012, slipping under 30,000 for the first time since 1997. The highest number of suicides occurred in 2003 when 34,427 people killed themselves.
The full report will be released in March.© Japan Today