Pandemic raises Japan's suicide rate after decade of decline

By Shingo Ito

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It’s an unpopular point of view I know, but this is one reason, and there are many, why I wouldn’t have any restrictions, and would let establishments stay open when they want, and why I would prioritize letting people continue their work if it was conducive to their mental health, and why I wouldn’t take away people’s rights at all. Freedom of choice trumps everything else. Go out if you want to, stay home if you’re scared. Deliver food to the vulnerable, in safety bubbles. While people die, and they will regardless, support the healthy too, and don’t let them also wither and die.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Death by Covid in 2020 - 3,460

Death by suicide in 2020 - 20,919

9 ( +19 / -10 )

I have a gut feeling that those were probably not suicide but more likely death from COVID-19 instead

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Since 2010, suicide trend in Japan is in constant decline both in actual number and also by number per 100 thousand inhabitants also shows decline trend.

2010 24.7

2011 24

2012 21.8

2013 21.4

2014 20

2015 18.9

2016 17.3

2017 16.8

2018 16.5

2019 16

3.7 percent increase, that means 750 people more compared to 2019, especially number shows that suicide in Japan in decline trend from 2020. This is data of number of suicide per year in Japan.

2010 31,690

2011 30,651

2012 27,858

2013 27,283

2014 25,427

2015 24,025

2016 21,897

2017 21,321

2018 20,840

2019 20,169

2020 20,919

But in 2020 it goes up again, the number of suicide each months from July 2020 to December 2020, surpasses the 2019 number

In a separate NHK poll, 28 percent of women reported spending more time on housework during the pandemic, compared with 19 percent of men, with at-home supervision of children -- after schools closed -- falling mostly to mothers.

That what Patriarchy society looks like.

"Students are feeling anxiety about their future," said Akiko Mura, a counsellor at the Tokyo Suicide Center.

Those students can end up like people who just graduated after bubble in 2000, they having difficulty to find full time job. Since by the time economic recovering, companies only interested to hire new fresh graduate following years, those Japanese companies not interested to hire people who already graduated but still don't have any job.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I say it to this article also;

I hope that all the fear mongering people and panic sheering media finally understand what is the impact of their fear mongering and panic sheering words and articles.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Death by Covid in 2020 - 3,460

Death by suicide in 2020 - 20,919

What’s the daily average for January this year and how does the rest of 2021 look?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They didn't die because of the pandemic

They died because of the the response to it

Imagine losing your job then all you see on the media is "THE CORONAVIRUS WILL KILL YOU!!!"

The coronavirus is highly unlikely to kill you, as can be seen from the statistics

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Many people are suffering financially with little help from the government.

With the socialization that is given at school to be genki and smile,without being given the opportunity to give voice to concerns and fears, is it really any wonder that suicide rates increase?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The pandemic is not the virus,

The pandemic is government response to the virus.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

There was also a few high profile celebrity suicides which has been shown to act as a catalyst for others to follow. It is unknown just how many of the suicides were due to covid pressures or other causes. The covid connection is reasonable speculation but speculation nevertheless.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The problems start at home. When it comes to kids if they can not see their friends..then parents need to step up and show them more love! The problems are in the "typical" japanese home. If you have kids, tell them you love them throughout the day. Hug them, play with them, etc. Don't just give them a book to study and tell them be quiet. Let them be kids. Let them have fun, EVERYDAY! Parents are at fault, setting inattainable expectations...driving children to have no self worth.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

That photo looks like a scene straight out of Blade Runner. Japan is a dystopian society. It is little wonder that the suicide rate is so high.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry. I find it difficult to believe any data released by the MLHW. Where is the data on number of deaths from diseases and natural causes.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Death by Covid in 2020 - 3,460

Death by suicide in 2020 - 20,919

Most Japanese victims of covid are very old (at age 70 and above); or those with comorbidities.

Suicides have been committed by younger, working age group of people. The rising cases of women are remarkable. Taking into account the nubmer of suicide attempts or suicidal tendency, this is also deadly and highly infectious among Japanese population.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Death by Covid in 2020 - 3,460

Death by suicide in 2020 - 20,919

Deaths by suicide possibly related to Covid - 770

I guess there would have been an increase whether there were strict government measures or not, so it's hard to know how much of that 770 is due to any of the government's measures.

It's very sad that there seems to have been an increase of 90 kids over the past year. Though it's worth noting that the increase happened after they went back to school, not when the schools were closed.

They didn't die because of the pandemic

They died because of the the response to it

Imagine losing your job then all you see on the media is "THE CORONAVIRUS WILL KILL YOU!!!"

The coronavirus is highly unlikely to kill you, as can be seen from the statistics

with the lockdown and safety measures Covid is currently killing around 1,000 people per day in the UK.

The various lockdowns and safety measures have dramatically reduced flu rates and flu deaths in many countries. Without them, the deaths from pneumonia and flu would be at least double, so it seems fair enough to assume that without the lockdown and safety measures the deaths from Covid would be at least double, probably much worse.

Imho, the issue in Japan is that the goverment is doing (some of) the lockdown measures, but without providing much in the way of financial support.

If they were providing financial support to companies and families, maybe the Covid rate would be low and the suicide rate would be low.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Death by Covid in 2020 - 3,460

Death by suicide in 2020 - 20,919

and the above is the reason, why Suga had to take a balance approach. More Japanese died of suicide

than of Coivd. Yet, people scream Lock down! Without thinking of the effects of the policy.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Most countries face increase of suicide triggered by the Covid-19. I found an article explaining the same situation of the UK.


4737 suicides were logged by the UK based non-profit organisation Samartians from the October 2020 to December 2020.

This is an exponential rise of 48% in suicide rates as compared to the data collated by Samartian projections in 2019. Which tallied 3201 deaths.

The social and economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are considered to be a contributory factor to this unprecedented rise."


Suicide rate of Japan is 16 in 2019, while that of US is 15.3 in 2016. (I cannot find the recent suicide rate of the US.) Not so different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is just less and less to live for when we look to a future where the easily influenced masses are practically lining up to give more of their liberties, jobs and human rights away...

No form of lockdown will ever stop or slow COVID-19. Food must be delivered across the nation, trains and offices must be filled etc in order to avoid catastrophe.

Only once this virus, of little concern to the majority of the population, has run its course and enough people build an immunity (even if only a short time like other corona viruses) will we see the DAILY barrage of numbers decline. At that point the fear-mongering general public, mass-media and drug companies can claim victory and life can begin to normalise. But at what ongoing cost..?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Death by Covid in 2020 - 3,460

Death by suicide in 2020 - 20,919

Death by Covid in 2019 - 0

Death by suicide in 2019 - 20169

Death by Covid in first 21 days of 2021 - 1370

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Any excuse is a good excuse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Response of japanese government and their "support" for these in desperate need plus mainstream covid hysteria caused this spike.No doubt.

Just imagine.You work for company for some time,started to build career,expect salary rise in near future.Get married,have wife and small kid at home,fresh mortgage loan for house.Now government asking you stay at home and make no money just wait for day D when you can get Ok to work in company again.If you are lucky company will ask you work from home but as business suffers hard you get no bonus and get salary cut.Dont need to mention extra stress as missing social contact with people face to face.You work at home for coins,when switch on TV all day mix or "corona news" plus commercials-this will not help to his mental health as well.Than company will cut staff you are lucky stay still employed but you never know if company will not close for good.Savings are little to none.You have to pay your regular costs for living every month despite that your income get very small as bank dont care.Now goverment gave you "generous help" of 100.000JPY per had but once only.Money came and go.Today you get letter that company is closing end of January.You are already late with payments of mortgage and bank is asking get money plus interest asap.What future lies around?What perspective?Do you think that this guy believes in prices drops for food as we could readhere some days ago?Do you think this guy cares abt Tokyo olympics success this year?Let me be frank-he does not care and dont believe in mainstream media lies anymore.So from next month he will be at home,lucky he have paid social insurance so will get some 100.000jpy a month for a while...can he plan any life with that "income"?Are you still "surprised" Suga san that suicides are on rise and crime as well?Do you believe that this is such a "beautiful life"?

But yesPMs main problem is to give business for Takeda about their vaccines to make sure that hey make a lot of fat profit from this misery so still more people must die byt D day when Takeda will roll out out own vaccine and yes dont forget Tokyo olympics money for Mori san and his "business group" as have to be sure that they will make fat profit from taxes as well.


Sad.Reality is sad.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most melancholically, this is going to be a scary global affair. It will be one of the worst collateral damages and negative impacts of pandemic, only to be unfolding slowly as time goes on..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pride and group mentality are a big part of Japanese society. Example, when a person loses his/her job or business ( pride and fear of being considered unsuccessful ), or when people know he/she is infected ( shame and exclusion ). People care way too much about other people’s opinions and the way they look at them. That’s why “name and shame” is a big thing in Japan. I wonder how many of the suicides were related to this. Instead of looking at themselves, they look at the world around them, family, friends, coworkers, society in general.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Media overhype of COVID is what’s causing the rise in suicides.

1 ( +3 / -2 )


I have a gut feeling that those were probably not suicide but more likely death from COVID-19 instead

And also both: there have been reports that some people have taken their own lives after getting infected by covid, by "causing so much trouble and shame" for the people around them. :(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is because of the economic hardship brought on by the pandemic. People losing their jobs and others having to work from home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Financial hardship notwithstanding.

Catching the virus might mean feeling like crap and it can also cause confusion-losing the ability to think straight...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One of my favorite quotes, from the movie Cast Away: “ I know what I have to do. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? “

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Whats troubling is the case of the 30 year old Woman who took her own life after being tested Positive under the pretense of avoiding infecting her Family... what if, the test was wrong ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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