Why are Russians twice as likely to kill themselves as Japanese?
- Fewer than 20,000 people took their own lives in 2019, the lowest total since statistics on the issue were first collected in 1978
- But there is still work to be done, as Japan still has a higher suicide rate than the likes of Australia, Canada, China and Germany
The number of Japanese people who took their own lives in 2019 fell beneath the 20,000 threshold – a record low since statistics on the issue were first collected in 1978 – but experts say the total is still significantly higher than in other developed nations.
A total of 13,937 men killed themselves during the year, down by 353, while the number of female suicides came to 6,022, down by 528 to a record low. Japan’s rate of suicides per 100,000 people also fell to a record low of 15.8.
“This is clearly a positive development and we are down from a high of 33,000 deaths a year in 2003 or so, but the numbers are still too high for a developed nation,” said Vickie Skorji, director of the Tokyo-based TELL Lifeline counselling service.