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Japan’s fight against suicides

Japan’s fight against suicides

SATURDAY, April 15, 2017

Japan has one of the highest suicide rates among the rich countries. But for the first time since 1994, suicide rate in Japan has decreased, according to the official data.

Japan has had a very high rate of suicides, second only to South Korea which enjoys the dubious title of having the highest suicide rate in the world. From a close-knit society to an isolated one, Japan has an astonishing graph of suicide rates.

The data from the past six decades shows that the year 1955 saw the highest number of suicides in Japan.The suicide rate plummeted slightly in the year 1960 to 21.5 per cent from the high rate of 25.1 per cent in 1955.

In 1965, the suicide rate came down drastically to 14.5 per cent, which is the lowest so far in the history of suicide rate in Japan. There was a marginal upswing in the suicide rate (15 per cent) in 1970.

From the year 1975 to the year 1995, the suicide rate in the country was relatively stable but still very high. In the year 1985, it touched a high of 19.4 per cent.

In the year 2000, the suicide rate once again jumped to 24.1 per cent and remained almost constant till 2009. In the year 2015, the suicide rate dipped marginally 23.1 per cent. The year 2016 saw the highest dip in suicide rates in the country since 1994, where it fell to 17.3 per cent.

This decrease in the rate of suicide is attributed to factors such as growing affluence, overall high levels of development, stringent gun control and rejection of violence. Nevertheless the suicide rate in Japan is still considerably high compared to other rich counties in the world.