Suicide rate up in Japan, doubles among unemployed

Suicide rate up in Japan, doubles among unemployed

21,584 people committed suicide last year mostly due to health, family issues, shows government data

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – The suicide rate among the unemployed people in Japan almost doubled last year while the overall trend also increased in the country of around 126 million people which is also grappling with an aging population, accounting for 28.5% of its total population.

Government data released on Friday showed the suicide rate among men also has increased, for the first time in the past 13 years.

Suicide among the unemployed in 2022 nearly doubled to 1,038 people, while among those living on pensions or employment benefits rose by 705 to 5,347, the data showed.

It added the number of men who committed suicide last year rose by 604 to 14,543, leading to 21,584 overall suicides in the country – an increase of 577 from the previous year.

The number of suicides had seen a fall for around a decade through 2019 at 20,169, but since the pandemic, the trend saw an uptick.

“The rise in men in their 40s through 60s, as well as pensioners or those who are unemployed, stands out,” an unnamed Health Ministry official told Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

“Suicides by famous people may also have had an effect.”

The number of suicides by women, however, went down by 27 to 7,041.

The analysis of the people committing suicide shows most of them suffered from various health and family issues.

Chiyo Igarashi, an expert in suicide prevention at the Tokyo University of Technology, said: “Inflation and a worsening economy caused by a weak yen may have had an impact.”

“There is a need to tackle the lack of nurses and occupational physicians in small to mid-sized companies,” said the health sciences professor.

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