Child and youth suicide reaches record highs in Japan with 514 deaths in 2022

Japanese students walk in front of Tokyo’s Ikebukuro Station. – Europa Press/Contacto/Stanislav Kogiku

Japan recorded a record 514 suicides among elementary, junior high and high school students in 2022, according to a report released this week by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, based on data collected by the National Police Agency.

This number far exceeds the 499 of the previous high recorded in 2020 as part of a general upward trend driven, experts say, by the effects of the pandemic: health problems have been cited by the Police as the most common cause of these tragedies, by far ahead of other reasons, such as educational pressure or economic circumstances.

Suicides among women have also increased for the third consecutive year: 7,135 (67 more than the previous year’s total), according to data published by the official Japanese news agency Kyodo.

The trend is of concern to the authorities because of its general nature: the total number of suicides in 2022 was 21,881 (874 more than the previous year’s total). Male suicides experienced the first increase in 13 years with 14,746 cases (807 more than the previous year’s total).

The suicide rate per 100,000 persons increased to 17.5 percent, up 0.8 percent from 2021.

Suicidal Behavior Hotline: 024 Telephone of Hope: 717 003 717


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