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Suicide leading cause of death among Japanese children aged 10-14


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Maybe they should cut back on the ridiculous number of hours kids must devote to school (classes, clubs, homework, etc), and finally acknowledge the seriousness of the bullying problem.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Very sad statistics, but has anyone tried to annalise the groups. How about latch key kids, going home to an empty house every night after school and then there is the holidays, with both parents having to work to make ends meet.. Single parent families , where the parent has to work, and many time unsocial hours. Kids experiencing severe loneliness, not a good diet or fatigue through to much studying, worried all the time about their grades. The internet, social media, bullying, online abuse, I could go on, this is a worldwide social problem. So is this ridiculous, children in elementary school with smart phones, c'mon parents, wake up you need to be responsible, parents can't just expect their children to do it all, everyone seems to have missed the point, they are still children, they need to play, they need care and affection , a big hug and lots of praise, make them feel wanted.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The root cause is what gary mentions--the insane hours devoted to study, at school, juku, and in the home, not to mention club activities. This is also a principal cause of bullying too. It results from the overwhelming stress kids feel. Their parents and teachers just accept the system as normal so kids bullying others or killing themselves are sad pleas for help or attention at the least or as means of escape at worst. Want to drop these numbers, blow up your entire system where tests are the end all and be all of education. Kids with their entire lives being determined by which school they enter at 12 years old. Honest reporting would use words like attrition or collateral damage.

Many of my daughter's friends started hitting juku hard from the 4th grade (i.e. 10 years old), the standard start for JHS test prep. The next 8 years they'll be on the rat wheel of relentless pressure and anxiety.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Bullying is everywhere. Even in UK, white kids bully Asians but can't able to bully Muslims.

But in Japan, it's quite different.

Japanese bully more Japanese than other races and by different evil technique.

'Liverleaf' was released a year ago about teen bullyness, suicide and revenge.

Btw, they didn't mention the most popular types of suicide. I think Aokigahara is only popular among adults and cults.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Honestly I would have hated to be a kid growing up in Japan, while on some fronts of education Japan is very good, on others awful & when it comes to socialization its downright awful. To be Japanese is to have to survive the meat grinder.....

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It's such a terrible shame. Heartbreaking.

Investing in children is essential, especially in a country that has such a few number of them. More needs to be done to eliminate bullying and to make every child feel a sense of worth, hope and joy about the future.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"To prevent children from taking their own lives, we need to grasp more detailed actual conditions. Now we adults are being questioned how far we can catch (children's) distress signals which are hard to perceive," she said.

Actually, what you need to do is let kids be kids without putting too much stress on them to study, perform without being scandalized for making mistakes, and forgetting the "Wa." Adolescence is a time for kids to enjoy their lives and discover for themselves. Parents have to be more supportive of their kids without mental and physical cruelty. This parental behavior dramatically tears down kids and wipes them of their own personality. Kids are kids, not robots in a regimental society.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Garypen nailed it!!! LET KIDS BE KIDS!!!!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Crazy curiculum expectations from parents + socially accepted bullying = BOOOMMMM!

So sad!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Behind every kids suicide there is one or more killers.

Apart from a few numbers with true psychological problems who commit suicide all the others are linked with adults wrongdoing that should be addressed boldly. Could it be at home or school or wherever the kids are under adult responsibility.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The individual factors spurring children aged 10 to 14 to kill themselves have not been sufficiently clarified

Please allow me to clarify. Bullying and intimidation by teachers at school who put unrealistic expectations on kids. Child abuse increasing within the family with parents suffering in the current economic climate. Pressure from parents who also have unrealistic expectations for academic achievements. A school life that has no enjoyment and is a 12-16 hour day’s work 6 or 7 days a week, plus juku (cram school). After all these factors have been addressed you can include the kid-on-kid bullying.

this 10-14 year old demographic should be extended to 20 years showing all teenagers. That would show and extremely alarming statistic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

People have cited both the heavy study load and bullying as causes for suicide.

One could easily argue that these study loads lead to high stress, and high stress leads to bullying.

Perhaps if this study load were to be reduced, there would be less stress on the students, resulting in fewer cases of bullying.

I think the focus should be made on reducing the workload.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Every single suicide of a child is one too many.

How does this compare to other countries.

Leading cause of death there by starvation, traffic, school shootings ?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Is not just children, right? Of course there are scientific reasons involving puberty and all, but Japan society is just insane in terms of pressure coming from all directions.

I hope to see the day this society starts changing and value more people's happiness and not just the forms and traditions. It's just sad

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In my opinion billing and constant pressure to study is actually worldwide problem just Japan go on other lever in educational aspect.In these days children and teen all around the globe are foreced to constantly study liie robots, things that they don't need and don't lije to study The overall idea of going to university and finding jib that is well paid not a job that you like and want to work every day is wrong.More and more people start uni and drop it after half od the way just to find that they can be happy and woek something they like without university but they pay for that with the approval of their parents and friends.The entire worldwide sisrem of education must be changed to save not only kids and teens life but also the lifes of the adults.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That’s incredibly sad. If this was the statistic in my country I’m sure we’d be up in arms about it and there would be serious questions asked.

I hope it gets addressed and the attention it deserves up there, children are our future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"A recent trend in Japan in which suicides by children surge just after holiday seasons such as spring and summer vacations has become a major social issue."

Yeah, that's a real touch one to figure out. Hmmm... what starts again after a SCHOOL vacation that kids are so desperate to avoid they find death a more favorable option? The only reason the causes have not been clarified is because Ministry does not want to admit it: bullying. If they had to admit it, they would have to do something about it besides passing laws that have no penalties. Schools would have to take responsibility for their failures, as would the BOEs. Since everyone from the top down wants to pass the bug, "no one knows what's going on".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As for my own . . . we always give good discipline, teach from an early age to give them a better sense of themselves, have another interest (in our case Japanese and English), always give them hope, get physical exercise on a regular basis . . . make sure they are having some fun.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don’t believe the schooling hours are the problem. Schooling hours here are longer than my hours were in America, but they are not that horrible.

The bigger issue to me, is the advancement system that is currently in place. There are lack of opportunities to go to schools or your choosing and not proper contingency plans if students fail to get in. Because of that, the competition becomes a huge thing and that is why students are under so much pressure. It’s too much pressure for someone so young.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too many people don't appreciate how precious life is. You can do everything ''right'' in life, and then one day just get hit by a car, and it's all over. I remember when i was younger i was once told: 'The reason why whatever you are experiencing right now feels like such a big deal is because you haven't lived long enough to be able to put it in perspective to other big deals that are going to happen in your life'. When you are 10-14 years old, every bad experience can feel like its the end of the world, but in reality, it is just a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things, and chances are, in 10 years, you probably won't even be able to remember it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

10 to 14 year olds generally don’t die so this shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Educational problem. Unfortunately, Abe has no money for it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Samit

Japan’s youth tyroid cancer rate is already at 250 times the international norm.

Can you back your statement with scientific facts?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a very sad situation. There must be a percentage of adults that were on the borderline of suicide but for some reason changed their minds. I would think they take their childhood problems into their adult lives. Again, it is very sad that children can not grow up happy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

10 to 14 year olds generally don’t die so this shouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Just looked up stats in my home country. For that age group the leading causes of death are cancer and accidents. Definitely not suicide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the number of suicides per 100,000 people in the age group of 10 to 19 has remained flat.

Suicide becoming the leading cause of death among young children does NOT necessarily mean that more children are committing suicide. It can mean death by other reasons (illness, accidents, etc) simply have dropped.

The article is misleading and is an example of bad journalism.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

9am - 2pm. School

2:30pm - 3:30pm. Club

No homework.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suicide becoming the leading cause of death among young children does NOT necessarily mean that more children are committing suicide. It can mean death by other reasons (illness, accidents, etc) simply have dropped.

The article is misleading and is an example of bad journalism.

Precisely. Suicide is the leading cause of death for kids of this age in Japan because they do not get killed in traffic accidents and homicides the way they do in the US. Rankings like these are extremely silly because if the other causes of death increase, suicide slides down in the rankings.

This chart from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in 2017, the leading cause of death for the same age cohort in the US was traffic accidents, followed very closely by suicide, and then homicide (murder).


In other words, the only reason suicide is in first place in Japan is because relatively few kids aged 10-14 get killed in traffic accidents and very, very few get murdered.

As for the explanations for suicide in Japan being given here, it is worth noting that the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world is found in New Zealand, a country with none of the social and institutional factors being used for explanation here.


It is, of course, possible that X causes suicide in Japan and Y causes suicide in New Zealand, but the fact that a country with a very different social structure and a very different school sysem also has a very high suicide rate is good reason for being cautious about jumping to conclusions as to the cause(s) in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Interesting that my strictly factual comment gets down votes. Perhaps those giving the down votes would like to explain their reasons for so doing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Children need time to be children,

and to feel safe and valued,

not just cogs on a wheel of "the future"...

Bullying stems from feeling powerless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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