The most recent survey exhibits 250 elementary and highschool age youngsters took their very own lives in that yr for a wide range of causes together with bullying, household points and stress, the nation’s Ministry of Schooling stated Monday, according to Reuters
These figures have been 5 up on the earlier yr, and the very best since 1986, when 268 pupils died.
“The variety of suicides of scholars have stayed excessive, and that’s an alarming difficulty which must be tackled,” ministry official Noriaki Kitazaki instructed reporters. He stated the reason for the rise was unclear.
Most of those that killed themselves have been highschool college students. The federal government beforehand recorded an annual spike in suicides on September 1, the beginning of the brand new faculty yr.
“The lengthy break from faculty allows you to keep at house, so it is heaven for many who are bullied,” Nanae Munemasa, then 17, told CNN in 2015
. “When summer time ends, it’s a must to return. And when you begin worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide may be attainable.”
Munemasa thought of suicide herself because of bullying, earlier than going public together with her story in an try to assist different younger folks.
Whereas the youth suicide fee was up final fiscal yr, the whole variety of suicides in Japan fell to 21,321 in 2017, from a peak of 34,427 in 2003, according to the National Police Agency
In 2016, Japan’s authorities introduced a plan to chop the nation’s suicide fee by 30% by 2026, notably amongst younger folks, according to the Japan Times
. A part of the plan contains hiring counselors for each elementary and junior highschool within the nation, and launching a 24-hour helpline.
“We would like to eradicate such tragedies altogether, however the actuality is a number of hundred youngsters are taking their lives (every year),” training ministry official Koju Matsubayashi instructed the newspaper. “It is essential to show youngsters methods to get assist as quickly as attainable … as a result of it turns into more durable and more durable to search out assist as soon as they’re already struggling. The sunshine on the finish of the tunnel will get darker and darker till they start to begin seeing the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel as loss of life.”
Whereas Japan has lengthy struggled with excessive suicide charges — it’s the main explanation for loss of life amongst younger folks — the problem additionally persists throughout the broader Asia-Pacific area.
In Asia, solely South Korea has the next suicide fee than Japan, according to the World Health Organization
, at 26.9 deaths per 100,000 folks in 2017, in comparison with 18.5 for Japan and three.2 for the Philippines. Additionally it is one of the leading causes of death in Hong Kong
In addition to stress caused by East Asian countries’ intense work cultures
, specialists stated many elements of the area even have a stigma in opposition to looking for remedy for despair or different interventions that would assist cut back suicide.
Research shows that suicide can also be contagious
, with the loss of life of 1 individual or a number of folks contributing to an increase in suicidal habits amongst others, particularly those that have already got suicidal ideas or a recognized threat issue for suicide.