19 June 2008

Suicides Surge In Japan

Keeping with the suicide theme of late.

The rate of suicides in Japan has increased this year by 2.9% with 33,093 suicides being recorded. It seems that the over 60's are fueling this surge as they are increasingly becoming disillusioned with their financial and health situations. This age group also makes up the largest chunk of the suicides at more than 33% of the total.

More than 20% of the Japanese population is over 65 and it would seem that the services provided for this group are clearly inadequate. Many are citing the failing health system and the lack of financial and economic support as reasons for the decision to end it all.

The method of choice is varied but authorities are reporting a significant surge in the use of hydrogen sulfide gas to commit suicide. It seems that the chemicals needed to mix up a batch of the deadly gas are widely available.

The Japanese have the 9th highest rate of suicide in the world. In an effort to reduce the number of suicides the government is about to initiate a USD 220 million program. The bulk of this money is going to be directed to mental health and depression initiatives.

Suicide is a sad thing. I am not a shrink and do not know how successful interventions can be but clearly something must be done to address the alarming surge in suicides. This is not only true for Japan but for all countries!


Polar Bear said...

Hi Rob, lot of suicide comments here. You know that this is a classic sign of someone who is considering the deed. I hope not mate, you bring me too much enjoyment, and I not into funerals right now.

The Japanese tend to be a fatalist nation. They consider suicide as we in the West would consider early retirement or migration, and it doesn’t have the same negative connotations that we assign to it. In the West we talk in hushed tones and hints when someone takes their own life. In Japan they are open and matter of fact about it.

And its not just the over 60s that are taking their own lives. An alarming number of young Japanese are dreadfully dissatisfied with their lives, and yet are conditioned into accepting that nothing can be changed.

Nothing cannot be changed. Everyone can find happiness.

Rob Baiton said...


Classic signs or not, I am not considering the deed!

I think I wrote in one of the posts that it was a morbid fascination and a quest to try and understand the "why" more than anything else.

It is one of those things. Every which way I turned I came across something on suicide. So, I figured I would do a few posts on the subject...

I am the eternal optimist so in that sense I do not see myself getting into the zone to end it all in one fell swoop!

Thanks with regards to the nices words about enjoying reading the posts I make...

I am just into the office after some morning meetings. It is Friday sholat time so I am about to surf the blogs in my blog roll :D