Photo: PAKUTASO
national

Suicide leading cause of death among young people in Japan, statistics show

23 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

A white paper published last week by the cabinet contained some troubling suicide statistics. Using data collected during 2019, there were 659 cases of suicides among people aged 10-19, an increase of 60 over the previous year.

This raised the rate of suicides per 100,000 people in the 10-19 age group to 3.1, an annual increase of 0.3 and the highest on record since such statistics began being recorded (as a side note, the Japanese language has no word for “teenager,” which is why the demographic is set as 10-19). Another sobering point of the report: suicide was the leading cause of death among Japanese citizens aged 15-39, and when compared against WHO statistics, Japan is the only economically advanced country where suicide is the leading cause of death among those 15-34.

Suicide being the primary cause of death among Japanese teens and young adults isn’t an entirely new situation for Japan, however. The country has long had very low levels of violent crime and street violence, and a reliance on extremely safe public transportation means fewer traffic accidents, all of which are disproportionally large causes for death among young-and-healthy demographics in any other nations. Factor in Japan’s extensive health care system and national health insurance, and disease is also far less of a threat to young Japanese people than it could be otherwise.

Taking all factors into consideration, suicide being the leading cause of death in the 15-39 demographic isn’t just a sign of high suicide rates, but also of the safety and security of life in Japan reducing the chance of death by other circumstances. The report also showed that suicides overall were down in Japan in 2019, dropping 671 to a total of 20,169, with decreases in all age groups outside 10-19.

Still, just as advancements in transportation safety and medical knowledge are a continuous pursuit, the government likewise wants to find ways to bring the number of suicides down. It’s an especially urgent matter as statistics from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and the National Police Agency have shown increases in suicides during every month from July to October in 2020 compared to the same months in 2019, with experts citing the social and emotional isolation of life during the pandemic as contributing to increased numbers of suicides among teens.

If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people here to help. Click here for more info.

Source: The Sankei News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- The number of suicides among Japanese citizens jumped in August, worrying officials

-- Unexpected Japan suicide facts are equal parts depressing and uplifting

-- Japan’s suicide number drops for eighth straight year, rises among teens

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
Login to comment

What's the breakdown by gender? Does anybody know?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We should be surprised by this? Young people in Japan have access to things for which their parents have no respect, nor understanding. Japan's youth of today is waking up to the 1960s movement in North America. But they'll move much faster to get rid of the blue-haired old ladies and bald men in their governments faster than we did.

Just watch.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Taking all factors into consideration, suicide being the leading cause of death in the 15-39 demographic isn’t just a sign of high suicide rates, but also of the safety and security of life in Japan reducing the chance of death by other circumstances. The report also showed that suicides overall were down in Japan in 2019, dropping 671 to a total of 20,169, with decreases in all age groups outside 10-19.

That's a fair assessment. True, suicide tends to be relatively conspicuous among other deadly causes of Japanese young. But of course I believe that there is much more to do to curb a rising number of young suicides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This article doesn’t take account of the environment in which most children spend most of their lives.

The public school.

The oldsters in Japan soon forget what it was to be young.The endless rules are used to sap individualism and the public school system is designed to fail most without recourse to private schooling or possessing high intellectual ability.

The funding for schools in Japan is abysmal with outdated teaching modes.

It is energy sapping and hardly a place to be content hence the young become stressed and the 40 plus students packed into one small class experience an environment conducive to bullying.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The pressure to be ( always ) better than your classmates and your friends so you can be successful ( whatever that means ) in the future. No ( real ) free time because “ your grades aren’t “good enough”, study more “ / unnecessary club activities / some ceremony on the weekend. F’d up relationships with family members, bullying in school and... anywhere really. Depressing Japanese movies, dramas and animation. And at the end of the day, “ you need to look strong, happy, pretty, committed to your goals, because Japanese society expects that from you ”. Some just give up and become niito or hikikomori, others choose suicide. Japan has a giant problem. There’s need for some real changes but the problem is: the old people in this country don’t like the word “change”. So “Ganbatte”. ... sighs ...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Another study, another article, and no concrete prevention plan on a national and local level. Japan likes to hide the inconvenient truths about its society and has done little to establish safety nets for the troubled and desperate. For a country that has a declining birth rate and aging population it would rather spend gazillions of yen on military hardware. I saw a news clip last week and it was reported that the suicide hotlines were understaffed, any action from the government to increase subsidies for this important service? I have two very simple questions for the government. With all the disasters in this country and its dependence on young men and women first responders and the JSDF, how many will you have in 30 years? Where is your tax revenue going to come from? The children and the young are crying out and you guys in government have the gall to be sleeping through your diet sessions wearing your abenomasks.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Of course suicide is going to be one of the leading causes of death among the young, along with car crashes. Young people don't drop dead from heart attacks or strokes nearly as often as older people, nor do they succumb to cancer, dementia and other diseases at the rate older people do. When you eliminate those causes of death, there are not many other causes of death for young people other than suicide or accidents. What are the young dying from in other developed countries? Accidents and disease? Japan sounds pretty safe for young people then. That said, let's hope we can reduce the number of suicides.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

These kind of reports, make it seem like the carefree and ever smiling street children of the Phillipines, India, Africa etc are having it better.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

GOV is guilty, the desire to live is disappearing. sorry to for the parents .

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Teenage kids in Japan have an extremely tough life. The pressures of school and club are ridiculous! Add to this the bullying, peer pressure and and ridiculous expectations from teachers and parents and a high youth suicide rate should come as no surprise. Give the kids their lives back and they’ll see the youth suicide rate drop dramatically.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think the psychotropics called SSRI leads to suicide but I can reason why some would want to take there own life especially in Japan when firearms are not a method to take yourself out instantly. @Do the hustle- dont forget to mention also that Japanese mothers are very strict on there child when it comes to education and are force to study study study and get scolded if mama is not satisfied also adds to the stress and mental issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The economic effects of locking down, even a softer one like in Japan, are going to destroy more lives too, and Japan as a major exporter will feel other countries' effects.

By this point it's pretty obvious that the cure is worse than the disease:

https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/20/coronavirus-lockdown-cause-200000-extra-deaths-13014848/amp/

Time for everyone to get back to as normal as possible or we're heading for The Great Reset from crashing the global economy:

https://www.weforum.org/great-reset

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

just wait for the effects of recommended lockdowns, no socializing and reduced classroom time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Anyway, I still don’t understand. I am all of it, slightly unsuccessful, slightly bullied, slightly sick, slightly suicidal, slightly niito, hikikomori, poor.... but still happy living, hungry for life, trying new things, exploring anything interesting, accumulate knowledge whenever I can... I don’t agree with all that listings of reasons for suicide. There must be something else, something still unknown or undetected. And specific to younger people, as I am not as young as they still are.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The signs of a silent man meaning crisis, especially amounts the youths. No easy scapegoat either. Complex, layered and repressed. Lot of lonely people in the hyper connected world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

mass meaning crisis! Not man, man!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You would have thought it was Covid based on the lack of press suicide gets. Priorities!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ObjectiveToday  12:50 pm JST

You would have thought it was Covid based on the lack of press suicide gets. Priorities!

It's not more press about suicide we need (that we need less of), it's healthy thinking and mental health care we need more press about. Don't discuss the result, discuss and work on the cause; unhealthy thinking and attitudes to life, learning to love and respect oneself and clear and openly discussed options for when you feel suicidal would be a good start.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ijime that cannot be seen in Japan is a bad Japanese society history. Stop this and the suicides get lesser.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not only Japan: https://www.unilad.co.uk/featured/suicide-kills-young-people-cause-death/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

These kind of reports, make it seem like the carefree and ever smiling street children of the Phillipines, India, Africa etc are having it better.

In many cases, ignorance is happiness.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@aleef - good comment, actually the best one in this thread.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Don't take your own life, fight, fight, fight !!..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites