Suicides by women increased in Japan for second year

According to authorities, the number of women who committed suicide in Japan increased for the second year in a row in 2021, while the overall number of persons who committed suicide in the country decreased.

Suicide has a long history in Japan as a means of avoiding shame or dishonour, and the country’s suicide rate had long been the highest among the Group of Seven nations. However, a concerted national effort reduced suicide rates by roughly 40% over 15 years, though they rose in 2020 due to stress brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Health Ministry.

According to data from the National Police Agency, the overall number of suicides decreased by 74% to 21,007 from the previous year, while the number of women who committed suicide increased by 42% to 7,068, the second year in a row.

The number of males who died by suicide, on the other hand, declined by 116 to 13,939.

There were no obvious explanations for the disparity, although officials have stated that the coronavirus epidemic put extra strain on women due to a variety of factors, including job losses in the service and retail sectors, where women typically work.

Suicides reached a high of 34,427 in 2003, alarmed politicians, who devised a comprehensive preventive programme that was introduced in 2007. Suicides had dropped to slightly over 20,000 by 2019, shortly before the coronavirus attacked.

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