Japan suicides at historic low in 2019 but more teens kill themselves
Japan Times -- Mar 18
Suicides in Japan in 2019 fell to a historic low, marking the tenth straight year of decline, but youth suicides continued to rise, police said Tuesday.

Though suicide in Japan has a long history as a way of avoiding shame or dishonor, and its suicide rate still tops the Group of Seven nations, a national effort has brought suicides down by about 40 percent in roughly 15 years.

Suicides totaled 20,169 in 2019, 617 or 3.7 percent fewer than the previous year, and was the lowest since compilation of data began in 1978.

The suicide rate edged down to 16 percent per 100,000, a dip of 0.5 percent from the previous year and also the lowest in history. By contrast, the suicide rate for the United States, which has more than twice Japan’s population and a growing suicide problem, was 14.2 percent in 2018.

The number of those under 20 who took their lives rose by 60 from the previous year to 659, the only age group to see a rise. Though suicides result from multiple causes, bullying has remained a persistent problem in schools.

Suicides peaked at 34,427 in 2003, alarming policymakers and drawing foreign attention.

去年1年間に自殺した人の数は10年連続で減ったものの2万人を超えました。10代では自殺率が過去最悪となりました。  厚生労働省によりますと、去年1年間に自殺した人は2万169人でした。自殺者数は10年連続で減っていて、統計を始めた1978年以降で最も少なくなりました。自殺の動機は「健康問題」が一番多く、厚労省は「経済や家庭の問題が深刻化するなかでうつ病などの健康問題が生じている」と分析しています。年齢別にみると、人口10万人あたりの自殺者数は50代が最も多く21.1人で、次いで80代以上が19人、40代が18.5人でした。10代は前の年の5.3人から5.9人になり、過去最悪を更新しました。いじめや学業不振など学校問題を原因に自殺する人が多いということです。厚労省は今後、若年層向けのSNSでの相談の受け付けにさらに力を入れたいとしています。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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