COVID and suicide: Japan’s rise a warning to the world?

Japan reports suicides faster and more accurately than anywhere else in the world. Unlike most countries, here they are compiled at the end of every month. During the COVID pandemic the numbers have told a disturbing story.

In 2020, for the first time in 11 years, suicide rates in Japan went up. Most surprising, while male suicides fell slightly, rates among women jumped nearly 15%.

In one month, October, the female suicide rate in Japan leaped by more than 70%, compared with the same month in the previous year.

On September 27, a very famous and popular actress named Yuko Takeuchi was found dead at her home. It was later reported that she had taken her own life.

A former journalist who now runs a non-profit organisation dedicated to combatting Japan’s suicide problem said, “From the day the news of a celebrity suicide is reported, the number of suicides increases and stays that way for about 10 days.”

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