The total number of suicides in Japan rose to 21,584 people in 2022, on the back of the first spike in male suicides in 13 years, Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported.
The number of suicides among Japanese men rose by 604 to 14,543 deaths. This is an increase of 577 suicides compared to the previous year.
Numbers have remained high in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A ministry official highlighted the rise in suicides among “males aged 40 to 60, retired or unemployed,” noting that “celebrity suicides may also have contributed” to the rise.
Preliminary data shows suicides among women have fallen by 27 to 7,041 deaths, around 1,000 more than before the pandemic.
However, the final numbers, released in March each year, tend to increase from the preliminary ones.
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The number of suicides had been falling for 10 consecutive years, until 2019 when the total number of suicides was 20,169.
The sharp increase started in 2020 with the pandemic and has remained high ever since.
The suicide rate among the unemployed nearly doubled to 1,038 people in 2022, while among pensioners it increased by 705 deaths to 5,347 people.
The most frequently mentioned reason was health problems with 11,125 people, followed by family problems with 4,214 people.
Chiyo Igarashi, a professor of health sciences at Tokyo Technical University and an expert on suicide prevention, said “inflation and a deteriorating economy caused by a weak yen may have had an impact on the rise.”
In this sense, Igarashi stressed the need to address the shortage of company nurses and doctors in small and medium-sized companies.
In contrast, the number of suicides among elementary, middle and high school students fell by three to 441 deaths.
The Anadolu Agency website contains only part of the news offered to the subscribers of the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), in summary form.