May 30, 2017
Tokyo- Suicide remains the most common cause of death among young people in Japan although the total number of people killing themselves has been on the decline, an annual government white paper showed Tuesday.
The situation is serious as many in the young generations who are expected to lead the society are committing suicide, the report on suicide prevention said.
The total number of suicide in Japan, which peaked at 34,427 in 2003, came to 24,025 in 2015. It stood at 21,897 in 2016, falling below 22,000 for the first time 22 years.
But suicide was the top cause of death among people aged 15-39 in 2015, as was the case in 2014.
Among people aged 25-29, in particular, the number of deaths from suicide was 3.8 times that from cancer, the second most common cause of death in the age group. Among those aged 20-24, deaths from suicide were 2.9 times as many as those from accidents, the second-biggest cause, according to the white paper.
The top cause of death was cancer among people aged 10-14 and those aged 40 or over.
The white paper also noted that the number of people who committed suicide per population of 100,000 stood at 18.5 in 2015, the highest among the Group of Seven major industrial nations--Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
A panel of experts at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is working to revise the government's guidelines for preventing suicide. The revamped guidelines are expected to include the ministry's target of lowering the suicide rate to 13.0 in the next 10 years. (Jiji Press)
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