Suicide rate in Japan hit record high in a month
Published: 11:27 AM, 29 November 2020 Updated: 12:01 PM, 29 November 2020
Eriko Kobayashi has struggled with her mental health in the past. She says the pandemic has brought back intense fears of falling into poverty; Photo: CNN
Pandemic coronavirus or COVID-19 has killed 2,087 people in Japan till Saturday, however, more than 2,153 people committed suicide in the country till October!
National Police Agency of Japan disclosed the information on Sunday.
According to CNN, the reason for the high suicide rate in Japan is quite complex. However, long working hours, school pressure, social isolation and cultural stigma are considered as one of the main reasons.
Experts say many are drowning in frustration as they stay away from their families in the long lockdown, “economic thinking” has added to these reasons. Besides, unemployment is also consuming, resulting in an increase in suicide cases.
Katsunobu Katō, the Japanese government's chief spokesman, said last week that “we need to face the reality seriously. We are launching a hotline to prevent people from committing suicide. At the same time, surveillance has been increased through social media.”
It is to be noted that Japan has historically had a higher suicide rate than any other country. It had declined somewhat in the years before the COVID outbreak globally.
In 2016, there was a suicide rate of 18.5 percent, the second-highest in the western Pacific and almost three times the annual global average. The Japanese government has special funds for suicide prevention. It has now been increased from $10 million to $24 million.