School issues are No. 1 reason behind youth suicides in 2018, Japanese government white paper finds
Japan Times -- Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic.

Of 568 people in that age bracket who took their lives last year, 188 were attributed to school-related issues, followed by health problems at 119 and family issues at 116, according to the 2019 white paper on suicide prevention measures.

The results, which included cases of multiple identified motives as written in suicide notes or elsewhere, underscores that school affairs play a key role in the lives of young people.

The suicide rate for people aged below 20 rose 0.2 percentage point from the previous year to 2.8 in 2018, hitting a record high since the data was first logged in 1978, a government report showed Tuesday.

Across all age groups the rate, which represents the number of suicides per population of 100,000, stood at 16.5 — down for the ninth consecutive year and marking a record low — according to the paper. Still, the figure is higher than in other advanced countries.

While the overall number of suicides in Japan fell for the ninth consecutive year in 2018 to 20,840 — slipping below 21,000 for the first time in 37 years — the figure for those in the 10- to 19-year-old age bracket has been roughly flat since 1998.

In the paper, the government said it is necessary to verify the effects of suicide prevention steps and review them while closely monitoring the situation of the youth.

Among suicides in Japan by people of all ages, the most common motive was health-related, followed by economic and livelihood issues and family matters.

Under comprehensive measures against suicides adopted in 2017, the government aims to reduce the rate to 13 per 100,000 people or less by 2026.

News source: Japan Times
Jul 14
Schools in the southwestern Japanese city of Hitoyoshi have reopened, after heavy rain caused floods and mudslides in the area recently. (NHK)
Jul 13
A national facility devoted to the indigenous Ainu people and their culture opens on Sunday in their ancestral region of Hokkaido in northern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 09
About a third of parents in Japan postponed vaccinating their children during the coronavirus pandemic amid fears of catching an infection, a survey by a nonprofit organization showed Monday. (Japan Today)
Jul 08
In a move that will affect Japanese studying in the U.S., the government there said Monday that international students attending American universities will have to depart the country or transition to another college if their classes are moved entirely online for the fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
Jul 05
Major Japanese wireless carriers recently launched a service to provide foreign tourists with disaster relief information via mobile phone short message service in the event of an earthquake or typhoon. (Kyodo)
Jul 04
Single mothers and women with less secure jobs in Japan have seen their employment opportunities upended as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage. (Japan Today)
Jul 03
More than 3,400 elementary and junior high school students and teachers have contracted food poisoning at 15 schools near Tokyo due to school lunches, local authorities said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jul 02
The Japanese government compiled Wednesday a package of policy measures to promote women's empowerment, including a possible law revision to address cases of unpaid child support payments after divorce. (Japan Times)
Jul 02
A day after China passed and enacted a new national security law to govern Hong Kong, Japanese lawmakers kicked off official discussions over ways to welcome financial talent that may be contemplating leaving the international financial hub. (Nikkei)
Jul 02
Immigration authorities have resumed processing of visa applications, in a move expected to speed up entry clearance for foreign nationals with applications stuck in pending. (Japan Times)