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Second suicide in two days at Shin-Koiwa Station

70 Comments

Police said Thursday that there was another suicide at Shin-Koiwa Station in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward on Wednesday. The incident comes a day after a 45-year-old woman from Edogawa jumped in front of an express train, killing herself and injuring four bystanders when her body was propelled through the glass door of a station shop that was situated on the station platform.

According to police, the second suicide occurred at 1:13 p.m. when a man in his 50s or 60s was hit and killed by an express train bound for Narita airport. Police say the train comprised 12 cars and was carrying 380 passengers at the time of the incident.

Investigators say the man was wearing sweatpants and a polo shirt, and that no other belongings have been found. Police said that eye-witness accounts strongly indicate that the man's death was a suicide. Investigators are currently trying to identify the man.

© Compiled from news reports

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70 Comments
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I wonder if the lady from yesterday gave this man any extra motivation (indirectly) to end his life.... I wonder what was going through his mind in the hours before the jump. What I mean is: Did he read or hear about her suicide, and think to himself, well if she can go through with it, so can I.

You have to wonder.

In any case, it is very sad and tragic news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I knew the Japanese were suckers for any new fad, but this is going too far!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

The second at this station in two days, but 200 across Japan. A cultural flaw. The Society that induce to a suicide. The Society represented by its Government should pay back the families of this silent victims.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Life insurances here pay out in case of a suicide....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Skep.

True, but if you read the policies there is a 3-5yr wait clause. So no one is getting rich soon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Still, debts (another common reason for suicide here) can be paid of this way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they changed the system (similar to the UK) where no life insurance is paid in the event of taking your own life, I am sure the number of suicides would drop quite considerably...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What Japanese culture miss is Love for Life, Love for their Family, Love for the surrounding nature as a priority above work and society.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

wife and husband?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It might also be a reason they don't care about the compensations to the railway companies for cleaning up after them and the inconvenience they caused to fellow commuters and the income loss these companies incur. I would almost go as far as to claim at those railway companies know of such life insurance pay offs and therefore claim damages....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My understanding is that the railway companies do claim against the estate of the deceased, please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

what a sight that must have been. Would never want my kid to witness that... True selfishness in a selfish culture.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Instead of announcing them as 'jinshin jiko' (human accidents), one deterrent might be to announce these "accidents" for what they are - suicides. Embarrassment is still very high on the list of Japanese common dislikes so perhaps railway companies could think of ways to embarrass these people so that they'll think twice before jumping in front of their trains.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

what a sight that must have been. Would never want my kid to witness that... True selfishness in a selfish culture.

Absolutely. A guy jumped in our old building a few years ago (it was sort of a donut shape so hollow in the middle) from the 22nd floor to the 3rd floor mezzanine. I had just gotten into the elevator on the 3rd floor at the time but the doors had not yet shut. I heard the noise but didnt actually see it. My daughter (about 3 at the time) was with me. 30 seconds before and he would literally have come down right in front of us. The sound alone was awful and I can still hear it clearly. I didnt realise what had happened until I tried to get back into the building and we were all stopped in the entrance hall. A woman was crying hysterically and surrounded by people. It was his Mother.

Selfishness though? I think people in that state are beyond rational thought.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Miamum.

I feel for you, I have watched a few things myself and still get the sweats at night.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope it wasn't the same driver... I don't think I'll catch the Narita Express for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FYI, roughly 2,000 Japanese individuals commit train suicides each year, a figure that accounts for about 6% of total suicides nationwide (New York Times 2009)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What's wrong with these people...We do not want to contribute , victimize to your, too selfish acts , what happen ...you Japanese forget Harakiri ... That's Japanese Methodology .. its not only for the Great defeated Samurais . But all for you..... Die as Japanese. Don't take others Valuable Time with you when you leave. ,

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Harakiri (also seppuku) is about disgrace. Suicide often isn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People who jump in front of trains also don't do so as to not fall into the hands of the enemy and prevent torture.

On another note, now that you mentioned it.... ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual is performed in front of spectators.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think its time to: 1) Increase safety measures in train stations 2) Change the life insurance policy so as nobody gets money from a suicide 3) Create a public organization aiming to assist the people with psychological disorders and thoughts of committing suicide while at the same time, make a huge advertisement campaign with slogans such as "Your problem is not only your problem" etc.

Suicide can be prevented in most of the cases. Its a pity for all these people as well as their families, and to a minor extent for all the people who are inconvenienced by their act.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Instead of announcing them as 'jinshin jiko' (human accidents), one deterrent might be to announce these "accidents" for what they are - suicides.

I think Skeptical Hippo has a point... What is the point of tip-toeing around the topic of suicide? It is a serious problem that should be addressed, not hush-hush and talked about in code words. People talk about having empathy and compassion for the people that have killed themselves, but I'm sorry, I don't. They are dead. Empathy and compassion for a dead person is pointless.

I want to have empathy and compassion for a living person going through a hard time. But if they bottle everything up, then finally go over the edge and jump in front of a train, which ultimately drags thousands of people into their personal struggle, then that is selfish. If they are willing to inconvenience people with their death, why not inconvenience them with their lives by seeking help? Many many people would be happy to be inconvenienced if it meant a life was saved in the process.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What this means is that that train and all the others following it were really late to the air port, and most missed their flights. They were given vouchers to come back tomorrow and catch another flight... And I guess they will try agin the third day. Since Japanese take such short vacations anyway, I guess they lost a rare vacation due to two selfish people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

they must have been very sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I looked into Japanese life insurance and learnt that my family could claim on it even in the case of my suicide (provided I had been on the policy for 6 months). I thought that this made it bad value for money for me, as I judge the probability of me wanting to suicide as extremely low, and I do not want to pay high premiums caused by payouts to suiciders. Thus, I agree with the arguments above to change Japanese law so that insurance cannot be claimed for suicide by people with debts and families choosing to take a 'noble death'.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I suppose these people are in a state where their mind is no longer functioning properly. To call them "selfish" misses the point, because it seems they lack the ability for moral judgement. Selfishness, in my opinion, could also show itself in the way we overlook those with problems because we are so busy with our own things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Harry_Gatto - Yes, the railways make HUGE claims against the estate of a person who is killed by train, either accidental or by suicide. Claims are for delays, lost revenue, clean-up, and more. I hear it is tens of millions of yen at minimum, depending on train line, time, etc.

Very sad for an already grieving family to get the bill!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just another attention seeker. I hope the victims were OK, and don't suffer from this man's selfishness.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is rich materialistiscally but spiritually it is a waste land, $$$$$$ does not by happiness, will not make you happy, so how can the Japanese, and for that matter all rich people around the world, Americans, Swiss etc..stop taking their own lives away??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just imagine buying bottled water in a train station, than suddenly get hit with blood and body parts. Down right scary !!!!!

I wonder what happened ? I wish they talk to me. My life is more complicated.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Fukuoka-Kyushu, we had about 3 suicides this month already, I have no idea what is going on, but if this trend keeps going across Japan....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe at every train station they should play upbeat music. " Don't worry be happy "

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are they going to ban the Narita Express? The most useless and least value-for-money train service out there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe at every train station they should play upbeat music. " Don't worry be happy "

Whiskeysour - but didn't that singer blow his brains out a few years after recording that reggae classic? Or is that just an urban myth?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I actually feel sorry for the people who commit suicide here. The Japanese don't have therapists to whom they can talk to about their inner turmoils, they are expected to grin and bear everything at all costs. The lack of support from family and friends only adds to their loneliness. It is only after the suicide that the people close to them know that something terribly wrong was contributing to the depression which led up to the drasticality of jumping in front of a train. Very tragic indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual is performed in front of spectators

Euuuwwww! Why in the world would anyone want to watch that??!.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Antonios_M>

Definitely a advertising campaign. I remember last years - littering, do it at home! - listening to loud music, do it at home! - taking up two seats to sleep, do it at home!

Commit suicide, do it at home!

Advertising practically doesn't cost them anything as it's their trains and their stations. Only printing costs....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you must feel so incredibly bad to end your own life, it's horrible. and sadly, this must make some people's day, the believers that this culture embraces suicide. Japan is not number 1 in suicide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No therapists? Not true!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting stats there Takahiro, thanks. But Japan is the world leader in female suicide, sadly. A lot of desperately sad women here in Japan. A million theories why I guess...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Miamum.

I feel for you, I have watched a few things myself and still get the sweats at night.

Im just glad I never saw it, and even more so that my daughter didnt, but I did hear from a friend of mine who lived next door to the parents of the guy who jumped, that she heard the noise, thought someone had dropped something and went to look over the railing that runs around the inside of the building to check. When she saw what had actually happened she was horrified, but what horrified her most was - get this - the number of people leaning over the railings TAKING PHOTOS WITH THEIR CELL PHONES!!!! What the hell??!!! So maybe we are all off-base with the whole "trauma for people who saw it" thing - maybe people arent bothered by it. Sure freaked the hell out of me though. It was the sobbing of the Mother too, that was so heart-wrenching. She was absolutely inconsolable. I didnt know her at all, but I was crying just listening to her pain. Awful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Takahiro, in some countries the police close cases as suicide, when they are eventually something different: political activists, journalists, unknown murders too difficult to investigates. In Japan people truly suicide.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Only in the news because there seems to have been a drop in frequency of suicides at this one station

0 ( +0 / -0 )

deepdrifter, there are therapists and shrinks, too. just not the ones that gives you bottles and bottles of drugs to addict you to like in the states

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whiskeysour - but didn't that singer blow his brains out a few years after recording that reggae classic? Or is that just an urban myth?

Urban myth, most definitely. Bobby McFerrin is alive and well.

Perhaps the Japanese could embrace Ernst Stavro Blofeld's concept of a "Garden of Death," a tranquil Japanese garden filled with a variety of poisonous flora and fauna, where they can end it all in peace. In the novel of You Only Live Twice, the suicide-mad locals were climbing over the walls to get in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think Cleopatra said yesterday that all suicides should put their house in order first but I don't think it's that simple. I'm assuming the vast majority are depressed and for whatever reason they reach a point where nough is enough/ they can't cope. They can't go on. And it's time to end the pain. I'm almost certain that they didn't leave their house that morning and think 'this is it' this is when I say goodbye because there are simple and easier options and I think that anyone who thinks about it would go for a less painful option:

I'd imagine there's a trigger for most. Some are obviously copycats but most will have hit their irrational rock bottom on the way to the station. Whether they've had a bad email, discoverd some bad news or something as simple as not been invited to a party or feeling they've been shat on by the world. Whatever.

I'd say the vast majority of suicides are not planned. But a point has been reached where the victims see no option.

Which is sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleopatra - cleo

Damned iPhone

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't imagine being the poor driver of that train. Must admit though my first comment was "did he score a strike?" Mrs buggerlugs is not talking to me at the moment :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've been to stations soon after a "jinshin jiko" occurred. What's really creepy are the extra platform staff and security guards who are posted all over the place, watching for signs of suicidal behavior.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Skeptical Hippo: "Life insurances here pay out in case of a suicide...."

It's true that some companies will pay out for suicides, but what's also true is that train companies will charge the families for damages, delays, and everything else -- which I've heard is MUCH more than what the life-insurance companies pay.

Regardless, how many is it going to take, at the same station no doubt, until they make some changes? My guess is they'll put one (more) person on the platform to monitor things and who could do nothing anyway if a person decided to jump. Very sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

smithinjapan; The relatives of a suicide victim are under no obligation to make any payments to anyone under current Japanese law. The company cannot sue teh family as japanese alw changed a few years ago so the relatives are no longer held responsible for other family members actions. If a company continually makes demands for money in this way they can be charged by the police.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

insurance companies do not pay out for train suicides in Japan

Japan. From wiki:

Trains on Japanese railroads kill a large number of suicides every year. Suicide by train is seen as something of a social problem, especially in the larger cities such as Tokyo or Nagoya, because it disrupts train schedules and if one occurs during the morning rush-hour, causes numerous commuters to arrive late for work. However, suicide by train persists despite a common policy among life insurance companies to deny payment to the beneficiary in the event of suicide by train (payment is usually made in the event of most other forms of suicide). Suicides involving the high-speed bullet-train, or Shinkansen are extremely rare, as the tracks are usually inaccessible to the public (i.e. elevated and/or protected by tall fences with barbed wire) and legislation mandates additional fines against the suicide victim's family and next-of-kin.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

legislation mandates additional fines against the suicide victim's family and next-of-kin.

That's just something I can't understand. Why does your family have to pay for your ****-up? They had nothing to do with your decision to off yourself. So your can grieve that you are dead and they can stress out of the damages they will now have to pay to compensate for putting the city through this turmoil. This is madness.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If you ask the majority of japanese (90%) from my experience in aichi, and ask them about how much of their personal life/problems is discussed with best friends or family, and to my alarm, those 90% said never. Change that cultural flaw of suffering alone and i can gurantee less suiiis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

deepdrifter, there are therapists and shrinks, too. just not the ones that gives you bottles and bottles of drugs to addict you to like in the states

Can I just point out for the record that not all drugs to treat metal conditions are addictive. Some of the stronger ones are, but in most cases the very fact that a patient needs a stronger and potentially addictive drug is because they are an immediate danger to themselves and/or those around them, and the (good!) clinician will make a decision that the benefits outweight the risks to the individual. A bigger problem with drugs that treat mental health conditions are side-effects.

Therapy is absolutely vital for long-term recovery but because it takes a long time and requires a degree of patient cooperation to be effective it is not usually chosen as a "first line" treatment. Results have shown though that in combination with drugs, therapy (CBT is particularly effective) the combined approach is better than one or other alone in treating clinical depression.

Just wanted to post that because I don`t want people to be put off from getting help if they need it.

I also hope someone from the Ministry is reading this.....(!)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's just something I can't understand. Why does your family have to pay for your ****-up?

I could be (and most probably am) wrong, but I always thought they make the family pay as a deterrent to the person who is planning to kill themselves... basically the (stereo)typical way to approach people with suicidal tendencies: "if you do this, you are going to cause a lot of trouble to your family, so don't do it". I guess we will never really now how well this approach works as opposed to actually trying to address the person's actual problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan>

It's true that some companies will pay out for suicides, but what's also true is that train companies will charge the families for damages, delays, and everything else -- which I've heard is MUCH more than what the life-insurance companies pay.

That depends on the amount of the insurance payout. Which in turn depends on the monthly payments made. For example, Peter pays 2万円 a month and his insurance company pays out 1000万円 after his death, while John pays 5万円 a month and his insurance company pays out 5000万円 after his death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

billyshears wrote: insurance companies do not pay out for train suicides in Japan

Japan. From wiki:

Trains on Japanese railroads kill a large number of suicides every year. Suicide by train is seen as something of a social problem, especially in the larger cities such as Tokyo or Nagoya, because it disrupts train schedules and if one occurs during the morning rush-hour, causes numerous commuters to arrive late for work. However, suicide by train persists despite a common policy among life insurance companies to deny payment to the beneficiary in the event of suicide by train (payment is usually made in the event of most other forms of suicide). Suicides involving the high-speed bullet-train, or Shinkansen are extremely rare, as the tracks are usually inaccessible to the public (i.e. elevated and/or protected by tall fences with barbed wire) and legislation mandates additional fines against the suicide victim's family and next-of-kin.

.

Very interesting. Maybe the train companies should put that on their anti suicide campaign posters as well. Wait... What posters?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel that suicide is a part of Japanese society. They have been killing themselves for centuries. Hari Kari known as sepuku is an old tradiition. Kamikaze is another. It's in their culture.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Hari Kari known as sepuku is an old tradiition. Kamikaze is another.

The entire kamikaze campaign lasted eleven months. Hardly an "old tradition".

(It's "hara-kiri")

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

(it's "seppuku")

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think all suicides are people who want to be "noticed" on their way out. There are plenty of cases where carbon monoxide, household cleaner cocktails, etc, are used. The train jumpers are really in a class by themselves. It doesn't seem like a fail-proof way to off yourself and it must be extremely painful compared to simply going to sleep. I can't help but feel that the method one chooses is an individual personality trait coming out... albeit for the last time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suicide by this means draws a lot of media attention but actually accounts for only a small number of suicides. Reporting of suicides by the media has a documented negative impact and can actually increase the number of suicides by similar means. Consequently, WHO publish ‘Guidelines on Reporting Suicide in the Media’. (http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/426.pdf). Among these recommendations they ask that journalists do not report on the methods used or sensationalize the suicide. They also recommend that they highlight alternatives and provide contact information to help lines or support groups. In Japan TELL offers an English-language help line available everyday of the year (03-5774-0992), as well as professional face to face counseling in the Tokyo area. TELL will also run a series of prevention and awareness events to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September. For details see www.telljp.com

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sadly, Japanese society does not view the winnowing of the gene pool to the tune of at least 35,000 people every year as an indictment and something to be addressed with the full resources of the state. Instead, suicides are shrugged off in stereotypical shikata ga nai * fashion as the price that must be paid for maintaining those very modes of thought which contributed to the deaths in the first place. The paucity of psychological help available doesn`t help. Far more significant though, as a factor in fomenting the high suicide rate, is an underlying Social Darwinism that accepts and excuses suicide as a safety valve that rids society of disaffected people who might otherwise constitute a living rebuke to ingrained modes of thought which the majority accept more or less unquestioningly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Italiandream,

What Japanese culture miss is Love for Life, Love for their Family, Love for the surrounding nature as a priority above work and society.

Perfect.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the winnowing of the gene pool to the tune of at least 35,000 people every year

According to WHO, the number of Japanese suicides aged over 45 is twice that of those younger than 45. Only a fifth are in the prime child-bearing years (~35). So the gene pool is being winnowed to the tune of around 6,000 to 7,000, not 'at least 35,000'.

Just saying. 6,000 is still 6,000 too many, and a young person deciding to end it all is surely more of a waste than an older person deciding to call it quits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In spite of the high suicide rate the lifespan is longest in the world or 2nd longest, so they still must be doing something right as a society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo >

the gene pool is being winnowed to the tune of around 6,000 to 7,000, not 35,000

In your attempt to deflect and minimise the problem with facile retorts such as that above, you merely confirm the truth of my observation. Had you interrogated the literature more fully, you would have realised that suicide is the leading cause of death in Japan for males aged between 20-44 and for females aged between 15-34. The positive spin you put on the fact that those under 35 account for only a fifth of suicides would`ve gone down better if you had been less dismissive of the damning numbers of older folk who choose suicide as the only way out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not being dismissive at all. Simply pointing out that the gene pool isn't being affected as badly as you claim. The numbers are bad enough without trying to make them look worse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey all, I know I don't live in Japan, I'm from Ohio, and you would know better how the Japanese might react to something like this but do you think a group like Recovery, Inc. would help people in Japan? At least keep them from committing suicide and getting help? Here's the link http://www.recovery-inc.com/. I mean it helped me a lot but all of you would know if it would be worth while to help out there. It just seems to me I come to Japan Today and then see something like this. Just recently there was a girl too, 24 years old, that had just committed suicide and I saw a picture of her and thought why would such a pretty girl want to end her life? Is it that bad? Really? I mean I'm older, heavy set, not rich by any means, and would have more reasons to give up my life than her but I'm still here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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