Continuing the trend of the past decades, the number of children and young people in Japan who took their own lives increased.
The problem of suicide in japan continues to register shocking figures. After the increase produced in the context of the pandemic in the Asian country, which even led to the creation of a loneliness ministry to alleviate isolation and accompany treatment of mental health of Japanese citizens, this week the figures for minors for the year 2022 were released.
According to a report submitted by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfarein 2022 a record number of 514 suicides among students of Primary and Secondary Level in Japan. Health problems, educational pressure and economic demands are some of the reasons that the document exposes as causes in most cases.
The figure is part of the worrying number of 21,881 people (14,746 males and 7,135 women) of all ages who took their own lives in Japan last year, which represents an increase of 874 cases compared to 2021. Within this last statistic, 807 were men (the first increase in thirteen years) and 67 women ( third consecutive year of increase).
In this way, the suicide rate per 100,000 people increased to 17.5 percent, 0.8 percent more than in 2021. The last formal record was obtained from data collected by the National Police Agencywhich in the pandemic context reported an exponential increase in cases of suicide among minors with 499 records in twelve months.
What is the Ministry of Loneliness in Japan?
In Japan there are 8 million empty houses. One in three inhabitants lives alone in a studio or a one-bedroom apartment. According to Tohoku University, each year 153,000 fewer people are born, which predicts the abandonment of towns and the gradual decline of the population. Along with these figures, there are linguistic elements that express how the problem of death goes through, together with depression and the demand in Japan: hikkimoriwhich refers to self-isolation for years; kodokushi, which indicates death in solitude; and karoshiwhich means “death from overwork”.
On February 12, 2021, the creation of the Ministry of Loneliness in Japanwith the appointment of former journalist Tetshushi Sakamoto (party member liberal democratic, of a conservative tendency) as minister. In his first press conference in office, he acknowledged that “in general social ties have weakened” and pointed against the isolation measures arranged to deal with the covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Sakamoto has focused, up to now, on the creation of programs that seek to promote group activities on public roads for the constitution of communities. In addition to carrying out individual monitoring of Japanese state workers, sports, cultural and gastronomic events are financed that allow citizens to meet.