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Suicide prevention in Japan 

Suicide prevention in Japan
Chapter:
Suicide prevention in Japan
Author(s):

Chiaki Kawanishi

and Yoshihiro Kaneko

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198570059.003.0109
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date: 21 September 2019

Suicide has been an emerging problem for many years in Japan, especially amongst males of working age, young people and the elderly. A dramatic jump in the year-over-year number of suicides occurred in 1998 (32,863 victims compared to 24,391 in 1997). Since 1998, suicide numbers have exceeded 30,000 every year for ten consecutive years (MHLW 2008). According to the latest suicide rates, 37.7 per 100,000 males and 14.7 per 100,000 females completed suicide in Japan in 2007 (National Police Agency 2008). Seventy per cent of the victims are men and approximately a third are aged 60 years or over. Trigger factors for suicide are health and financial problems. The number of people who attempted or committed suicide in Japan due to work-related stress has doubled since 2003– 2004. Due to cultural factors, Japanese men are not supposed to show weakness. The economic conditions of the elderly are worsening as the government restructures its budget and reduces the social security and pension budgets. There are not enough experts and psychiatrists available for consultations with people suicidal crisis.

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