The goal is to reach 13 per 100,000 inhabitants. Although declining, Japan’s suicide rate is the highest in G7 countries. The suicide rate can be cut among young people through better prevention in school and social media. For the government, it is also important to improve the work environment, especially for apprentices, and monitor seniors living alone.
Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Japanese government has adopted a set of measures to reduce the number of suicides by 30 per cent over the next eight years. Despite falling, Japan’s rate of suicide remains the highest in the G7 countries.
The plan, which lays out general guidelines against suicide, acknowledges that the number of voluntary deaths tends to decrease, but calls for further efforts in prevention.
Japan has experienced a long period of adversity with more than 30,000 suicides per year. Since 2010, this figure has dropped to 21,897 cases. However, despite the countertrend, suicide remains the highest in the seven most advanced countries, the plan notes.
According to the World Health Organisation, Japan’s rate of suicide was 18.5 per 100,000 inhabitants (down from 24.2) compared to 15.1 in France, 13.4 In the United States, 7.5 in Great Britain, and 7.2 in Italy.
Japan wants to rid itself of this sad record and cut the rate by 5 points by 2025, to 13.5 points, which is 30 per cent less than in 2015.
One of the main challenges is to reduce the suicide rate among those under the age of 20 by improving prevention in schools, more effective social media monitoring and better human relationships, this according to the report on which the government plan is based.
The latter also stresses the need to improve the work environment, particularly for young apprentices and workers. Recent suicides, like that of an employee at the Dentsu advertising agency and that of a young construction worker at Tokyo’s National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Olympic Games, highlight the need to fight hierarchical harassment in the workplace.