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Suicides among Japanese students hit record high in 2020

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Suicides involving women increased 395 to 7,026, while cases involving men dropped 23 to 14,055 for the 11th straight year of decline.

Double the number of suicides for men than woman.

Men continue to bear the brunt of the stresses of modern life.

14 ( +24 / -10 )

*Again, NO one thought to published necessary telephone numbers and/or ‘promised MEXT websites’ for these children. - **“Childline Support Center Japan, a Tokyo-based organization running a network of helplines (#?) for young people up to 18 years old. We would to step up efforts to look after children who are worried and stressed," *said Junko Kobayashi, representative director of the organization.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

What does it say about society when kids want nothing more to do with it at such a young age? Stats like these should be a national embarrassment, but unfortunately the issue won’t be spoken about or discussed publicly with any seriousness.

@JapanToday - again, where is the various helpline information at the end of the article? I know it’s a Kyodo news story, but if you add it and it helps one person then it’s worthwhile, right?

23 ( +26 / -3 )

By month, the tally for all school children more than doubled in June and stayed notably higher for the rest of the year as the country faced second and third waves of coronavirus infections.

Isn't June when they went back?

I thought most of the schools had been operating as normal since then.?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm sure the cure is more time in school on weekends and more high pressure exams.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The virus surely increased the stress and the number of suicides, but we all know that the suicides among students are deeply related to the school system.

The solution to the problem is simple: letting students enjoy their young age. There is no reason to overstress them with juku, bukatsu, exham hell, extreme competition, insane school rules....

It is always sad to see elementary students going to juku (yes, it is very common to start juku from elementary school), instead of enjoying their young age as much as possible. We know that without attending juku students have almost no chance to access the best schools, therefore please avoid saying "juku is not mandatory". If the Japanese school system was good, it would not be necessary to attend juku.

How long Japan will continue to ignore that the school system is the root of many social problems in its society?

25 ( +26 / -1 )

To the "lock it all down" crowd.

Heres the end result of your wishes.

-14 ( +10 / -24 )

Tragic. Perhaps Japan could tone it down a bit insofar as tests and cram schools go. It’s not as if these things are producing world-class scholars or innovators.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

""Health ministry officials attributed the increase to worries among young people about their studies and career paths""

When a child at the age of 15 is SBJECTED to this TORTURE of having to pass a test that will determine his or her future for the rest of their lives is overwhelming for so many of them, it is WRONG, and destructive.

Kids should be allowed to continue schooling with their long term classmates till graduations from H. School.

Separating and Classifying them at the age of 15 wrong because many are NOT RERADY yet for such a n event.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Japanese people are said to be "majime" (serious) in nature. Where does it come from? I have been thinking why Americans have optimistic ideas about life and they are basically jolly and happy while Japanese have pessimistic thinking about life. For them, life is a hard thing. Buddhism teaches us life is filled with four sufferings - life, sicknesses, aging and finally death. Life itself is a suffering for them. Japanese society has to change and must give young people hope telling them they have many chances to challenge.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

More kindness and consideration in the education of kids and less "discipline" and emphasis on rules and regulations, and testing them to the point of stupefaction. More guidance from teachers (like giving in-school opportunities for reading good books, debating and essay-writing to encourage thinking and self-expression) and more free time for students to develop intellectually and to develop a wider and deeper view of life and a stronger sense of self. Oh, and bin the bukatsu. Maybe, just maybe, then we will see happier, better-adjusted children who can become more than just another brick-in-the-wall to serve the needs of corporate society.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

 as well as family discord as they spend more time at home in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is terrible! It doesn’t reflect well on the family unit in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

To the "lock it all down" crowd. 

Heres the end result of your wishes.

Such a shortsighted view of the problem.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

@bob, you are 100% correct.

there are many independent, international, peer reviewed studies about the psychological and physical and economic effects of lockdowns.

Japan pre Olympics is the best place in the world at the moment.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

The solution to the problem is simple: letting students enjoy their young age. There is no reason to overstress them with juku, bukatsu, exham hell, extreme competition, insane school rules....

It is always sad to see elementary students going to juku (yes, it is very common to start juku from elementary school), instead of enjoying their young age as much as possible. We know that without attending juku students have almost no chance to access the best schools, therefore please avoid saying "juku is not mandatory". If the Japanese school system was good, it would not be necessary to attend juku.

exactly.fully agree.as father of three kids i am happy to see my kids enjoying real childhood.none from them ever entered juku/as many of their classmates did/ and during time when classmates are busy in juku or bukatsu,mine are at home,doing their hobbies,we talk a lot and enjoy time together.and yes,abt school results they are top in their classes....

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This should be investigated. The number of children is falling every year due to Japan's demographics, so it is especially worrying to see more suicides among a smaller population of children.

The smaller population of children means it is actually much easier to get into academically respected schools or to go to national tournaments, the goal for kids who do sports, compared to the past. I would certainly caution against assuming this increase in suicides must be pressure due to club activities or exams. That pressure would have been much higher in the past. I also find it hard to believe that increasingly hard-up parents could be sending their kids to juku more than the past. The golden age of coining it in with an English conversation school is certainly not the 2020s.

The Childline representative herself also talks of disruption to children's lives and increased stress due to the pandemic. The other background factor I personally suspect is ever-increasing screen time, which may suit some personalities but ultimately isolates people and produces shallower interactions.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All very sad that 499 students under the age of 18 decided to kill themselves but in other news more than 12,754,000 other students of the same age did not.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Sadly, @HBJ, last time we saw such a PSA helpline posted with a related article was in Feb ‘21 @HBJ 7:18a.

So, yes, we *ALL **should continually ask for such numbers to routinely *be part of edition.

The last time such a number was posted was during the rash of ‘celebrity’ suicides in summer 2020. Then, nothing with the 3 subsequent articles 9/20, 10/13, 11/11/2020. Maybe, like the article above mentions, the only viable attraction is when there is a ‘celebrity’ or ‘high profile’ suicide.

Feb. 26 - “2 high school girls, 50yr old man found dead in car in apparent joint suicide.” -

*Thank you for the appropriate ‘Public Service Message’ at the end of this article, *

...and hopefully, related future topics*.”

Therefore, we’re re-posting it HERE. Agreed. Maybe it will help someone.

“*If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people who can provide counseling. Click {here}* for more info.*

* { http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/international/japan-suicide-hotlines.html }

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Better yet, we’re re-posting the numbers here:

“*If you or someone you know is in Japan and having suicidal thoughts, there are people who can provide counseling. Click {here}* for more info.” ** { http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/international/japan-suicide-hotlines.html }

Japan Suicide Hotlines

Befrienders International, Tokyo 

Tokyo 

*Contact by:** Face to Face *

 - Phone 

 - Letter: 

> *Hotline:** +81 (0) 3 5286 9090*

*Website:** www1.odn.ne.jp/~ceq16010 *

*Hours:** *

*    Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 20:00 - 06:00 *

BI Suicide Prevention Centre, Osaka 

OSAKA 

*Contact by:** Face to Face *

 - Phone 

 - Letter: 

> *Hotline:** +81 (0) 6 4395 4343*

*Website:** spc-osaka.org *

*Hours:** *

*    Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun: 00:00 - 23:00 *

Tokyo English Lifeline 

5-4 22 rm 302, Minami Aoyama

Minao Ku

107-0062

TOKYO 

*Contact by:** Face to Face *

 - Phone 

> *Hotline:** Counselling: 03 5774 0992*

*Hotline:** Face to Face: 03 3498 0231*

*Website:** telljp.com *

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is sadly not a surprise,a rigid school system with longer hours compared to the west (that’s where I come from so I can compare)

Cram school,a huge amount of tests and then you add the pandemic bring this kids to depression.

Japan please treat your youth with more respect and let them live a slower and happier life.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Such a shortsighted view of the problem.

Suicides amount young school-aged children up a whopping and disastrous 25% in a single year dominated by the over-the-top reaction to Covid, and you say "shortsighted".

No. Its crystal clear. Children look to adults for comfort and guidance, and this year they saw that too many adults have the emotional stability of children.

All very sad that 499 students under the age of 18 decided to kill themselves but in other news more than 12,754,000 other students of the same age did not.

This is such an unbelievable statement I can only surmise its an attempt at humor.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Child suicides are eternally sad. They should be discussed in the classes and schools.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Japan needs to confront this problem head on, especially where children are concerned.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bob -

To the "lock it all down" crowd.

Heres the end result of your wishes.

Bizarre thing to say. Nothing was "locked down".

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The government lacks the authority to make a lockdown. Never happened.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Suicides skyrocketing, mental health crisis worsening, unemployment rising, small businesses crashing. The cure might be worse than the disease. May God have mercy and guide us through this.

CNN headline:

In Japan, more people died from suicide last month than from Covid in all of 2020. And women have been impacted most

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/11/28/asia/japan-suicide-women-covid-dst-intl-hnk/index.html

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Suicide is so sad. I hope there are good hotlines there in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Less than 0.004 % of students in school chose to kill themselves last year. Doesn’t sound quite so bad does it.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Despite the continual effort of the national authorities and communities to dissuade the would-be suicide victims, the suicide rate in Japan remains high, especially among the students this time.

Blame the pandemic? Or the inherent culture?..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Students? No, they were no students and now even flee studying forever. There is so much to learn and explore, the whole life long, not only when young and at schools or universities. I don’t understand how someone wants to escape from making so many interesting discoveries and impressions every day. There are a lot of hurdles, obstacles, bad conditions, problems and so on, of course, and most of us have them in their way one day earlier or later, but the outlook to gain something of those new experiences, impressions and knowledge or discoveries is like the wages for overcoming them. So, if you’re a student and feel bad, don’t think of suicide but learn or study on and on, something new or in the fields you like most.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Information no longer available @bob, @Fighto!, @zichi Re: “Japan's suicides jump 16% in COVID-19 2nd wave: study” - article from 1/17/21 has been retired.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An inflexible learning system, too much early expectations and pressure, and ridicule and ostracised for daring to be different. You either become one of the sheep or you're out. One of the worst education systems in the developed world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Blame to government, in part, for turning away from it @venze 1:57p “Blame the pandemic?”

*“Despite *the continual effort of the national authorities(???) to dissuade the would-be suicide victims,...

Sorry @venze, but maybe there is something you may have *missed? *They already know the young suicides come every year and this time.

As reported and promised Feb 16, 2021, we’re still waiting for *the Education Ministry’s “social media support platform” - ‘prepared for the ‘growing number of children with smartphones’. -*in the article: “No. of juvenile suicides in Japan hits record-high 479 in 2020”.

Apparently, it was all just ‘lip-service’. Where’s that ‘follow-through article’ with that information?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan openly tells the World about its suicide, therefore everyone knows it has the highest rate and blame Japanese society.

But the Western world doesn't tell their suicide related things so easily. Even if they do, people don't talk about it much as they keep comparing to Japan.

The suicide in Japan isn't just related to Japanese society, it has connection to the any parts of the world. Example, a teen girl may have been cyber bullied by foreign guy. A young guy may have experienced bad things at overseas, then came back home and just suicide.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The suicide in Japan isn't just related to Japanese society, 

Yeah right, dying from Seppuku for honor is not a Japanese cultural concept ...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That happens when you are brainwashing your children from early age that they must become doctors, lawyers or office workers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bizarre thing to say. Nothing was "locked down".

Compared to Europe and North America, no. But this past year has been very stressful for kids in Japan nonetheless, with seeing their friends and families in masks every day, SOE's, many of the nation's "adults" gripped in fear.

Nothing bizarre about my statement at all. Anyone with a brain could see this coming.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

14 were in elementary school, 

this is very sad, how can a kid in elementary school thought about suicide? Maybe God have mercy on their souls.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When society tells you, ad nauseum, "Stay home", "Stay 2 meters away from everyone you know", "No karaoke, no hanami picnics, no talking in restaurants or coffee shops," and "learn from a distance, alone", what did "society" actually expect would be the result?

Pick your poison. "Society" chose overreacting to a "pandemic" that's managed to kill a mere one person for every 14,247 citizens in Japan...of which what percent was actually a person under 20? 3%? 1%? So, the pandemic is "under control" while the social, psychological and demographic ills spawned from the alleged "COVID cure" will likely be felt not just for years...but for decades to come.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

.of which what percent was actually a person under 20? 3%? 1%

try ZERO

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Covid related deaths surely?

I joke you not!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I said it before, and I will continue to say it again. Let the children be children! Hug them when they wake up, tell them you love them, spend time with them. Take them to get an ice cream. Take them shopping and let them choose a small toy. A elementary exam is NOT important. That has no affect on their future. Heck, even the high school exam is NOT important.

How many Japanese kids wake up and hug their parents, give a small kiss on the parents cheek, and say "I love you daddy"? That is what happens in my house! Parents need to provide a comfortable enviroment for their children at home. Home should be a place where the kids can laugh, play, and talk about their problems. The more comfortable children are at home, the more they will open up about anything bad that happens. At dinner, everyone take a turn and talk about your day! Ask your children how their day was and actually LISTEN! I could go on and on and on...but I think you get it. The bad part is, not many japanese will be reading my comment.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Hito Bito

Since the pandemic started we "my family" have not made many changes. My kids/in-laws/wife/me are just as happy as before. Go to the park, go to a theme park, go to the ocean, go fishing. You don't need to do the typical things are crowd up in a mall, movie theatre, etc. kids wanted to see a movie, so I bought the movie online, and we had our own popcorn at home! The best part, the kids got to help make the popcorn. ADAPT AND OVERCOME. That is how life goes on!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

ADAPT AND OVERCOME. That is how life goes on!

Adapt and overcome both yourself and your wife losing your jobs at a time where the job market is shrinking rapidly, and then lecture me...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@AgentX

Ok, so just throw in the towel when times get tough..don't try to find another job to out food on the table. Great advice...smh.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I see. So the people out there in trouble, including the ones that commited suicide, just have a bad attitude. Got it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Agent X

True. If they had a good attitude and looked at the positive things in life, they would not kill themself. You are trying to deflect from what you originally said, because you know I am correct.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The solution to the problem is simple: letting students enjoy their young age. There is no reason to overstress them with juku, bukatsu, exham hell, extreme competition, insane school rules....

It is always sad to see elementary students going to juku (yes, it is very common to start juku from elementary school), instead of enjoying their young age as much as possible. We know that without attending juku students have almost no chance to access the best schools, therefore please avoid saying "juku is not mandatory". If the Japanese school system was good, it would not be necessary to attend juku.

exactly.fully agree.as father of three kids i am happy to see my kids enjoying real childhood.none from them ever entered juku/as many of their classmates did/ and during time when classmates are busy in juku or bukatsu,mine are at home,doing their hobbies,we talk a lot and enjoy time together.and yes,abt school results they are top in their classes....

I hear you, and I have 3 daughters (one in the US studying, the other two in Japan in elementary school). One of mine is in juku because she was falling a little behind in math. I only limit my kids to two activities, and that's with good school work management. My Japanese wife tells me that one or the other of our daughters wants to do other things. I told her, "Let them be kids. Two activities is the limit for me. If you want more for them, you pay for it." She responds by, "Well, when I was their age, I did piano, track 'n field, juku, and other activities and I had no problems." "Well, that's you, not them. I will not push them to do other activities. Their education comes first, then their social life." That was the end of that, and they stayed with their activities. My daughter does not like juku, so I do it with her and try to make it fun for her. I don't want my daughters to define their adolescence by school. I also reinforce them with encouragement and telling them that messing up in school is a great learning lesson, not a failure, and that their are always many successful and rewarding options in life. They follow their own path, not other's path.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Less than 0.004 % of students in school chose to kill themselves last year. Doesn’t sound quite so bad does it.

So, what happens if this 0.004% includes one of your kids. Would you still be saying the same thing?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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