Suicide increase among women in Japan is alarming: Covid-19 convulsions

Suicide increase among women in Japan is alarming: Covid-19 convulsions

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Issues related to suicide in Japan are nothing new but in recent years some optimism because numbers have come down. However, the longevity of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Japan appears to be related to a sudden increase in suicide in the last few months.

Of special alarm is the rapid increase in female suicides compared with the same time one year ago. Hence, figures released by the National Police Agency highlight an increase of 82.6 percent in female suicides. This compares to an increase in male suicide of 21.3 percent.

Issues related to Karoshi (death from overwork) and daily stresses of life are the norm in past statistics. Yet, from the high of roughly 34,000 suicides in 2003 to just over 20,000 in 2019, it seemed that Japan was on the right path in tackling this major problem in society.

At first, during the early stages of the coronavirus in Japan, it seemed that reconnecting with family and friends – and less stress from transport – had been a boost in a decline of yearly suicide deaths. However, in the last four months, a notable increase in suicide is climbing once more.

Thus the longevity of coronavirus is now creating new convulsions of which suicide is another negative angle. In 1997, during the Asian Financial Crisis, it became known that within 12 months an increase of over 30 percent of suicides took place. Therefore, with economic concerns related to the coronavirus crisis – and the enormous psychological angle – then the recent increase appears related.

Hence, with a surge in female suicides of 82.6 percent last month, a fresh campaign needs to reach out. Likewise, family and friends – business companies – universities – and so forth must increase awareness for people to seek help.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group

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