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2008年6月25日 (水)


(Jun. 22, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

To cut suicides, study why people kill selves

自殺3万人 詳細データを施策に生かせ(6月22日付・読売社説)

The tendency for people to choose to take their own lives shows no sign of abating.


According to statistics released by the National Police Agency, 33,093 people committed suicide last year, marking the 10th consecutive year that the number exceeded 30,000. It is the second-largest such figure since the NPA began tabulating data on suicides 30 years ago, after the 34,427 recorded in 2003.



Last year's suicide rate--the number of those who kill themselves per 100,000 of the population--was 25.9, an increase of 0.7 from 2006.


A correlation has long been evident between suicide and unemployment rates. But last year, the suicide rate increased though the unemployment rate dipped below the 4 percent mark for the first time in 10 years, to 3.9 percent.


Notable in last year's suicide statistics was an increase in suicides among people in their 30s and 40s, which accounted for 30 percent of the total number. Why are those who are supposed to be working as core members of society throwing their lives away?


Central, local govts must act


Some studies have found that many people feel their workplace burdens have increased and are less satisfied with their bosses' evaluations of their work than before. We wonder if the working environment is getting more severe for many.


The government had the basic law on suicide prevention enforced in 2006 to "implement measures that society must tackle because various social factors are behind suicides."


The law's enforcement prompted the government to set outlines for comprehensive measures to prevent suicide as well as a target of reducing the suicide rate by more than 20 percent by 2016.


Japan's suicide rate is far higher than those of the United States and other developed nations in Europe.


The basic law calls on the central and local governments and employers to act to prevent people from taking their own lives. First of all, all parties should cooperate in realizing the target of a 20 percent reduction in the suicide rate.


The outlines call for improving psychiatric care at clinics and hospitals, counseling services in communities for those in need and taking care of employees' mental health at the workplace, in addition to providing support for those burdened with multiple debts and people who have to provide nursing care for their family members. The need to provide psychological care for those with a history of suicide attempts is also stipulated in the outlines.


To rectify this serious situation, the central and local governments as well as employers must steadily implement necessary measures.


この部分の日本語対応部分がないので日本語に翻訳しました。 (by srachai)

Suicide data more detailed

Since the beginning of this year, the number of people committing suicide with hydrogen sulfide has risen steeply. It is a pressing task to come up with effective measures to counter the spread on the Internet of information about how to commit suicide, which partly contributed to the spike in hydrogen sulfide suicides.



The NPA overhauled its method of publishing suicide statistics from this year. It now puts reasons why people committed suicide into 52 categories in comparison with the previous eight. "Work-related reasons" was broken into five, including "human relations at the workplace" and "failure at work." Statistics on the occupations of those who killed themselves were split into more than 50 categories, while the previous data classified them into only seven.


When police officers handle suicide cases, they are now allowed to select up to three motives for suicide so the NPA can examine complex suicidal factors. In the past, police officers were required to narrow down suicide reasons to one.


The NPA plans to provide data for each prefecture upon request. We hope such data will be utilized to determine what specific problems each prefecture has and for devising countermeasures for the problems.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 22, 2008)

20086220137  読売新聞)


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