Juvenile suicides in Japan hit record-high 479 in 2020

Kyodo -- Feb 16
The annual number of juvenile suicides in Japan hit 479 in 2020, the highest figure since records began to be kept in 1980, education ministry data showed Monday.

In 2020, the government requested a nationwide school closure from March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and a subsequent state of emergency meant many schools remained closed until May or June, but whether the suspension of classes was linked to the increase in suicides is not clear.

Juvenile suicides rose by 140 compared with a year earlier and were over twice as high in August alone at 64 cases, according to data presented at a panel meeting of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to discuss preventive measures.

There were 138 suicides by female high school students, up 71, while among male high school students the number increased by 21 to 191. Junior high school students accounted for 136 cases and elementary school students for 14, according to the data.

- Kyodo