The total number of suicides in Japan in 2017 was 21,140, a decrease for the 8th consecutive year, according to a preliminary report issued by the National Police Agency (NPA) on Friday. The number was 757 fewer than in 2016. The number of suicides per 100,000 people dropped to 16.7, the NPA said.
Of those who killed themselves, 14,693 were males and 6,447 females, the NPA said, listing health, financial problems and family issues as the most likely causes.
The age group with the most suicides were people in their 40s (3,416), followed by 50s (3,282) and 60s (3,083). An upward trend was seen among teenagers with 29 more killing themselves than in 2016
By region, the highest number of suicides -- 2,146 -- occurred in Tokyo, followed by Kanagawa Prefecture (1,256) and Osaka Prefecture (1,167), while Tottori Prefecture had the lowest number at 98.
The 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 Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said the government aims to reduce the number of suicides further by addressing such issues as excessive working hours, postpartum depression and websites for people with suicidal thoughts, Kyodo reported.© Japan Today