Desperate Japanese head to 'suicide forest' with stunning views of Mount Fuji, also known as place to die

Suicide is second to only accidental death as the leading cause of mortality in young men across the world. High-lethality methods of suicide are preferred by young men: hanging and firearms in high-income countries, pesticide poisoning in the Indian subcontinent, and charcoal-burning in east Asia (Lancet, 2012).

From CNN:

Suicides in Japan were 15 percent higher in January 2009 than a year earlier. Japan's suicide rate, already one of the world's highest, has increased with the recent economic downturn.


  1. I am a psychologist working in Japan and I would say that it not simply the case that only that, as the current worldwide recession has its effect on Japan too, counselors here only now believe the increase is because of unemployment and the general economic crisis." Mental Health professionals in Japan have long known that the reason for the unnecessarily high suicide rate in Japan is due to unemployment, bankruptcies, and the increasing levels of stress on businessmen and other salaried workers who have suffered enormous hardship in Japan since the bursting of the stock market bubble here that peaked around 1997. Until that year Japan had an annual suicide of rate figures between 22,000 and 24,000 each year. Following the bursting of the stock market and the long term economic downturn that has followed here since the suicide rate in 1998 increased by around 25% and since 1998 the number of people killing themselves each year in Japan has consistently remained well over 30,000 each and every year to the present day. The current worldwide recession is of course impacting Japan too, so unless very proactive and well funded local and nation wide suicide prevention programs and initiatives are immediately it is very difficult to foresee the governments previously stated intention to reduce the suicide rate to around 23,000 by the year 2016 being achievable. On the contrary the numbers, and the human suffering and the depression and misery that the people who become part of these numbers, have to endure may well stay at the current levels that have persistently been the case here for the last ten years. It could even get worse unless more is done to prevent this terrible loss of life. During these last ten years of relentl the English media and press someone goes through the files and does a story on the so-called 'suicide forest' or 'internet suicide clubs' without focusing on the bigger picture. Economic hardship, bankruptcies and unemployment have been the main cause of suicide in Japan over the last 10 years, as the well detailed reports behind the suicide rate numbers that have been issued every year until now by the National Police Agency in Japan show only to clearly if any journalist is prepared to learn Japanese or get a bilingual researcher to do the research to get to the real heart of the tragic story of the long term and unnecessarily high suicide rate problem in Japan.

  2. As a follow up to the previous post I would also like to suggest that as many Japanese people have very high reading skills in English that any articles (or works of fiction which I appreciate this is) dealing with suicide in Japan could usefully provide contact details for hotlines and support services for people who are depressed and feeling suicidal.

    Useful telephone number for Japanese residents of Japan who speak Japanese and are feeling depressed or suicidal:
    Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):
    Japan: 0120-738-556
    Tokyo: 3264 4343

    Andrew Grimes JSCCP, JCP
    Tokyo Counseling Services


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