Suicides in Japan Drop Below 20,000 in 2019Society
There were 19,959 suicides in Japan in 2019, a 4.2% year-on-year decrease as the total fell for the tenth consecutive year. This was the first time preliminary figures dropped below 20,000 since record keeping began in 1978. (Note, however, that the official figures released in March 2020 will include people whose cause of death was later established as suicide, so it is possible that the final count may rise.)
Suicides of men decreased by 353 to 13,937 and those of women by 528 to 6,022. The number of suicides per 100,000 people also declined by 0.7 to 15.8, its lowest ever. By prefecture, Yamanashi had the highest ratio at 22.3, and Kanagawa the lowest at 11.5. The ratio for Tokyo was 15.2, while it was 13.5 in Osaka.
However, globally, the suicide rate in Japan is nothing to be proud of. According to data released by the OECD, it has reported the highest suicide rate among Group of Seven countries since 1998.
In 2017, the government formulated its General Principles of Suicide Prevention Policy. It aims to reduce the suicide rate to 30% or more below 2015 levels by 2026, including through such initiatives as offering consultation services on social media sites used by young people.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)