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Woman injures pedestrian in suicide leap from building in Tokyo

49 Comments

A woman who jumped from the 8th floor of a building in an apparent suicide leap, hit a man below, seriously injuring him in Shinjuku on Tuesday, Tokyo, police said Wednesday.

The woman died from her injuries, while the man suffered a broken right arm and other minor injuries, police said.

The incident occurred at around 7 p.m. in the Kabukicho red-light district, Fuji TV reported. Police found the woman’s shoes and her bag on the stairwell on the 8th floor of the commercial building, from where she jumped.

Police said there was no ID in the woman’s bag but she appeared to be in her late teens or early 20s. The man, who is in his 20s, was visiting Tokyo from Kitakyushu.

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49 Comments
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They need to start putting up those safety nets.

Or, how about people start taking mental health issues seriously?

The country clearly has a problem, yet the issue is largely kept quiet.

The government should do more. Companies should do more. People should do more. The media should do more.

@JapanToday - When you publish reports such as this, why don't you add contact information of support groups at the end? (helpline numbers, websites etc.)

15 ( +15 / -0 )

A Japanese man once offered to help me communicate with a bus driver in Osaka. Not needing his help I thanked him and befriended him. We met regularly on that same bus.

One evening a few months later he called me telling me he was about to jump off his apartment building.

I urged him not to and encouraged him to work on sorting out his problems and trust God for things out of his control. We met up for dinner and he was a wreck. But I helped support him through that difficult time.

Five years later he is doing well and we are very good friends.

Of course I'm sure that I've missed many opportunities to help such people, but thankfully that time I did the right thing.

While government action is necessary, personal concern by someone who cares will always be most effective.

Who knows who is around us that might need a listening ear or word of encouragement?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

What a sad story.

They need to start putting up those safety nets.

Please, explain the logistics behind that.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

That would be truly traumatic. I hope the young man recovers physically and mentally. RIP young lady.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I know I have posted this many times on this forum but

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, especially when you are so young!

Hard to see but there are usually signs of depression

, Keep an eye on your friends.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Disillusioned - I agree. It's a complex issue that demands much more than just posters, barriers and calming music.

Everyone needs to step up and do more - no matter how insignificant it may seem. Helpline numbers at the end of news reports about mental health issues is one such example. Hopefully the editorial team at JapanToday will agree and start doing this in the future.

If everyone is OK with kids throwing themselves in front of trains, and young ladies jumping off buildings, then carry on as normal.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

They need to start putting up those safety nets.

Please, explain the logistics behind that.

They've done this in Chinese factories where workers are sometimes tempted to commit suicide because of countless hours of work with little sleep. The nets are almost invisible so hopefully catch their fall.

So do this on every building of more than two stories in Japan? Suuure, we'll get right on that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Cutting suicides by 1/3 isn't doing enough?

It's good, but think how many more lives could be saved if mental health issues were taken seriously.

You don't think that it will be actually possible to stop suicide, do you?

Of course not.

Why do you think that my calls for much more serious action to be taken means I expect suicide to be completely stopped? You think enough is currently being done with regards to mental health issues in Japan?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Strangerland - My claim is mental health issues aren't taken seriously in general. The way the government deals with it is only one aspect of it. As Concerned Citizen states above, the way people interact with each other is equally if not more important than any government scheme.

But it's more than that. How do schools deal with it? How is suicide presented in manga? How do companies deal with mental health issues? How is mental heath affected by / represented in video games, dramas, social labeling, sempai/kohai culture, news reports etc etc.

For the number of reports covering suicide, or murder / assault clearly related to mental health issues, there is a clear lack of discussion about the root cause. A sumo wrestler assaults someone in a bar and there's weeks of coverage about behaviour, manners, conduct, what should happen, who should be punished etc. (possibly rightly so.) A politician makes a speech while eating a throat lozenge and there's hours of debate about the rights and wrongs, behaviour, manners, conduct, what should happen etc etc. (possibly rightly so.)

A kid jumps in front of a train and the facts are reported but the same news companies don't ask WHY? A young lady jumps off a building and the facts are reported but not enough people are asking WHY?

I could go on and debate this with you at length. However unfortunately this comment section isn't really suited to extended detailed debate.

1/3 cut in suicide is good, of course it it. That doesn't mean it can't be better. It's not just suicide though, it's mental health in general. It needs to be recognized more, it needs to be talked about more, the stigma around mental health problems needs to be removed. It's everyone's responsibility to make things better.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

They've done this in Chinese factories where workers are sometimes tempted to commit suicide because of countless hours of work with little sleep.

Sure, in a factory.

We're talking about Tokyo, the most populated city on the planet. How exactly are they going to put nets on every building? And who will pay?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@JapanToday - When you publish reports such as this, why don't you add contact information of support groups at the end? (helpline numbers, websites etc.)

Agreed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

RIP lost soul.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Strangerland - My claim is mental health issues aren't taken seriously in general. The way the government deals with it is only one aspect of it.

Strangerland: But you specifically referred to the government:

The government should do more...

...And the rest. You can't just selectively quote the first item on the list.

I was very clear I was talking about mental health issues in general, and that many groups should be doing better. You picked out just suicide and just the government.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As Disillusioned said: "... and playing calming music in train stations."

However, the new trilling jingle just started in Akihabara station on the Chiba-bound platform is enough to make me contemplate making a quick end. It is really annoying! Is there any way to change it?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hollis, The longer you make the post, the least chance of anybody reading it.

@techall A sad sign of the times.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@JapanToday - When you publish reports such as this, why don't you add contact information of support groups at the end? (helpline numbers, websites etc.)

That is a very good and useful suggestion indeed. I second that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Strangerland: "Please, explain the logistics behind that."

It's not tough, buddy. You get something called a net. You install it so people cannot so easily jump to their deaths. Got it? Not rocket science.

"Because I disagreed with you about your comments on the government and suicide. Not your other points."

Backtracking again! You cherry picked his comment (later saying "I wasn't talking about the other stuff,"), got caught, and now once again can't admit you're wrong.

"Because I disagreed with you about your comments on the government and suicide. Not your other points."

You took only the first sentence and said he was talking about the government. Oops!

"How exactly are they going to put nets on every building? And who will pay?"

Once again, not rocket science. Heck, many buildings have nets over the balconies so birds can't get in. Not that tough. Who's going to pay? Owners. They can choose to pass it off onto tenants or not. Even the tiniest addition to ONE month's rents would more than cover it, with the building letting the tenants know what they are doing and using the money for. Amazing you can't figure this stuff out.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The government should do more. Companies should do more. People should do more. The media should do more.

Cutting suicides by 1/3 isn't doing enough? You don't think that it will be actually possible to stop suicide, do you?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The concept of suicide as an acceptable and legitimate solution to problems presented by Life starts in early child hood. Children will learn cultural mores or in the absence of appropriate instruction create their own rules of behavior.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm an IT guy, not a city planner, nor a government employee, nor a psychologist. Why would I know?

But you seem to know what wouldn't work?

I'm not saying it's a perfect idea but it is an idea. If people didn't brainstorm ideas we'd still be riding carts with square wheels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And what about building owners that don't want to do that

Building laws where owners are required to comply with building safety standards. Not rocket science to add new legislation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP to this young woman.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to start putting up those safety nets.

Please, explain the logistics behind that.

They've done this in Chinese factories where workers are sometimes tempted to commit suicide because of countless hours of work with little sleep. The nets are almost invisible so hopefully catch their fall.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@HollisBrown - Or, how about people start taking mental health issues seriously?

There is the obvious solution. Japan has worked very hard to bring the suicide rate down from 35,000+ to 25,000 each year by using posters, barriers, blue lights and playing calming music in train stations. However, they have still failed to address why so many people are killing themselves. There has been two mass suicides in the news and half a dozen parents killing kids and then killing themselves in the last month alone. The mass suicide of four young women in their early twenties shows a serious problem in the society where they think mass-suicide is the only answer. Perhaps it is the 'sempai' culture of bullying. Perhaps it is the rigours of getting and keeping a job. Perhaps it is the uncertain future in an ageing society. Perhaps it is a combination of all these things that would lead a group of young women to kill themselves. Japan really needs to stop looking at the statistics and start looking at why suicide is so popular and addressing it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hollis,

Sad but true.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What’s wrong with the net idea?

dont hear anybody else offer any other solutions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What’s wrong with the net idea?

The fact that the logistics of actually getting nets onto every building in Tokyo is ridiculous, and if you don't get it on the overwhelming majority of buildings, it's ineffectual since someone can just go to a different building that doesn't have a net.

The idea would be a good one if a town had one large building. But we're talking Tokyo here: https://www.japan-guide.com/thumb/destination_tokyo.jpg

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok. You don't think it will work. So what will?

Any idea?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When you publish reports such as this, why don't you add contact information of support groups at the end? (helpline numbers, websites etc.)

A very good and helpful suggestion.

I think of all those who may still be with us if the subject was taken more seriously. Not just here but around the world.

please do it at home instead of groveling for public pity

Not so helpful. Having lost a number of friends over the years I can tell you that they're not looking for pity. They're looking for a release. A cessation to the daily pain of living.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok. You don't think it will work. So what will?

I'm an IT guy, not a city planner, nor a government employee, nor a psychologist. Why would I know?

Knowing something won't work doesn't mean the person knows what will. That expectation is a failure in logic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But you seem to know what wouldn't work?

Yeah. And I explained why it won’t work. Feel free to pull apart my explanation if you disagree, I’m happy to discuss and even be proven wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually when I think it a little further, I'm not sure it would. Can building codes be retroactively applied to buildings that have already been put up? If not, then it would take like 50 years before most buildings were torn down and replaced with new ones that had nets.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Restricting peoples access to the upper floors of buildings they have no business being in is one idea. Perhaps that already exists. You can't stop employees in such buildings taking a header if they've gotten that idea into their heads.

Nope, I think better education and close observation on each other to try and preempt such actions may help. But then again...TIJ we don't like admitting to weakness or standing out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's the purpose of these nets ? To safeguard people below or to try to save the life of the jumper ?

If the latter, then permanently Nets interspaced several floors apart, would be needed, and would cause additional strain upon the framework of the Building, (particularly during Typhoons). They'd also require regular cleaning and other maintenance work, which would inevitably end up being prohibitively expensive. You'd also need alternating widths of nets, otherwise your Jumper would simply hit the first net, and jump off it's edge.

One option however, may be to create a first (ground) floor hardened canopy to ensure that any objects (persons or otherwise) falling from the buildings with external stairwells, would be caught, preventing accidents to people below - pretty much the way that most construction works have a canopy upon the exterior scaffold (but not that it's always effective).

In short, nothing will get done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to start putting up those safety nets.

Please, explain the logistics behind that.

They've done this in Chinese factories where workers are sometimes tempted to commit suicide because of countless hours of work with little sleep. The nets are almost invisible so hopefully catch their fall.

So do this on every building of more than two stories in Japan? Suuure, we'll get right on that.

I was just explaining it. I didn't say this was the solution. I frankly think this will not work in Japan, either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw a couple of videos of actual jumper suicides - Chinese. First one fell, hit the canopy (similar to the one I mentioned above), and bounced off it onto the roadside in front of the building. No one other than the jumper was hurt, the canopy took the main brunt of the force and was as such literally destroyed. The person in the news story above, was very lucky.

The second jumper video had a whole set of onlookers below edging the jumper to jump... so they knew not to get in the way.

Either ways, when you look at what must be going on through the mind of the person jumping, things must be pretty dire. It's not like they just simply ran and jumped off without thinking, they're either sitting there, waiting, holding on, looking, and then letting go - this is contrary to the desire to avoid harm to oneself. It's not a spur of the moment thing, it's clearly something that they've thought about over a period of time, allowing depressional emotions to build up so much so, that it seems as the only solution for them. Does anyone really know how, to detect such a situation within a person ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hmm, kabukicho and no ID or identifiable data.... although I suspect cops rather just close the book with "suicide" tag... I do hope they do a bit more investigation... although at kabukicho they are probably paid to not to stick their nose in too deep.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sadly this takes away from empathy people would have had toward her.

Look out below please! This poor person will probably have a lot of mental trauma.

He’s in town just visiting and a body hits him from above, impacting to death, and breaking his bones too.

When people say “Japan needs to” or something to that effect, I wonder what it would mean literally, Wouldn’t that entail (these days) MSM and the nation television channels and papers being fed a government led directive or a joint personal venture to promote public health?

Now that’s nice and all when you hear about suicide, but government led social and mental instruction on the populace can be.....(insert history).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's an apparent suicide. Considering the area, I'd say murder is a possibility.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Once again, not rocket science. Heck, many buildings have nets over the balconies so birds can't get in. Not that tough. Who's going to pay? Owners. They can choose to pass it off onto tenants or not. Even the tiniest addition to ONE month's rents would more than cover it, with the building letting the tenants know what they are doing and using the money for. Amazing you can't figure this stuff out.

And what about building owners that don't want to do that.

Jumpers will just look for those buildings.

Now it seems you've got a bunch of people paying for a bunch of useless nets.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Building laws where owners are required to comply with building safety standards. Not rocket science to add new legislation.

That actually could work.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hollis,

The longer you make the post, the least chance of anybody reading it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Which building ? I'd best steer clear of it when walking by.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The cops will probably charge her posthumously with assault when they identify her...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Look before you leap !

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Strangerland - My claim is mental health issues aren't taken seriously in general. The way the government deals with it is only one aspect of it.

But you specifically referred to the government:

The government should do more.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

...And the rest. You can't just selectively quote the first item on the list.

I was very clear I was talking about mental health issues in general, and that many groups should be doing better. You picked out just suicide and just the government.

Because I disagreed with you about your comments on the government and suicide. Not your other points.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

please do it at home instead of groveling for public pity

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Sheesh. With the amount of people who do swan dives, though, this was bound to happen. They need to start putting up those safety nets. Doesn't matter if they are ugly, there is far too much of this nonsense. You'll still get people trying to kill themselves, but they won't hurt others this way.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

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