is a campaign month to prevent suicides. A tentative report on suicides committed
in 2019 was issued in January. It said the number of such deaths was the least
with a figure less than 20 thousands and the death rate per 100 thousands of
people showed the lowest, too. The numeral scale, however, is not small. Suicides
in the country have stopped growing, but stay many.
IS BEHIND THE LINGERING BIG NUMBER OF SUICIDES?
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare released a statistics on the number of
suicides in 2019 (a tentative report). The number is 19,959, of which for men
13,937 (69.8%), while for women 6,022 (30.2%). The figure is the lowest since
the year when a statistics began. In addition, the suicide rate is recorded the
lowest, 15.8, per 100 thousands of people.
30 thousands deaths for 14 consecutive years
statistics on suicides began in 1978. In 1998 the number exceeded 30 thousands
probably due to the structural reform carried out by the Hashimoto government
which had been formed in 1996 and a surge of the consumption tax rate from 3%
to 5% in 1997. Since then until 2003, when the biggest record, 34,427, was
made, for 14 consecutive years over 30 thousands people have taken their lives
2006 a law was enacted, the Basic Law to Cope with Suicides, but it was not
effective. In 2012 the number reduced to a digit of 20- thousand. In 2019 the
figure will not reach the digit (the final result will be announced in late
to the tentative report, Tokyo shows the most
numerous record, 2,107, followed by Osaka, which
has 1,191; Saitama
Prefecture has 1,100,
Aichi has 1,062, and Kanagawa, 1,057, in the numerical order. The smallest
number is seen in Tottori Prefecture, which is 80, then in Shimane, which is
109, followed by Tokushima,
113 and Fukui, which has 123. They are followed by Kagawa and Saga, which have
149. As for the suicide rate, the highest is seen in Yamanashi Prefecture,
22.3 per 100 thousands of people. It is followed by Akita, 21.9, then by Iwate, 21.7. The lowest
is recorded in Kanagawa Prefecture, 11.5, which is followed by Kyoto, 12.4 and Osaka,
13.5. Yamanashi Prefecture shows the figure 1.9 times
bigger than that of Kanagawa.
than half of victims – No job
tentative report does not describe the age and cause. Judging from the 2018data,
the biggest strata of victims are in their 50s, then in 40s and 60s. They are
mostly men who support families. Looking from a point of employment, over a
half of those who took their own life had no job. Following them, employees and
paid workers, private business owners, family business traders and students are
enumerated in the statistics.
for causes and motivation, the data list health, no reason available, economic difficulty,
livelihood, family and workplace in the numerical order. A health factor
occupies a half of all, most of them are the elderly. A fact that people with
no job are tolls shows unemployment is regarded as a major cause.
reasons on the economic difficulty and livelihood reflect low wage and absence
of social links with the public services, such as the Life Protection Service.
They are not saved by the social security measues.
for the workplace trouble, a suicide is committed due to overwork for long
hours, or Karo-shi, or sexual and power harassments. The statistics do not tell
about suicides of children and double suicides of parents and children, but
certain cases do exist.
government of Japan
revised in 2017 the comprehensive guidelines on suicides, presenting a target
of the suicide rate per 100 thousand as 13.0, which is an average among the
developed countries. But currently the rate remains at 15.8 here in Japan.
Various, elaborate programs and activities are necessary through municipalities
and NPOs. And the central government should involve sincerely, providing financial
assistance to support them.