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Excess deaths increase sharply amid pandemic  

  • December 10, 2021
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Nikkei reported on Heath Ministry statistics showing that the number of deaths in Japan in the first nine months of this year rose by almost 60,000 from the previous year, which was even more than that in 2011 when the so-called excess deaths marked a postwar record high due to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. While excess deaths declined substantially last year despite the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the corresponding figure this year marked a steep rise. As the number of people who died from heart failure and other cardiovascular illnesses spiked earlier this year, the daily speculated that many elderly people were forced to stay home and unable to exercise outdoors due to the prolonged pandemic. Some of those who died may have not undergone annual health checks and medical consultations on account of the pandemic, which resulted in delays in detecting fatal diseases. This year has also seen a steep rise in the number of suicides, especially among women, with the daily speculating that some people may have chosen to take their own lives due to economic hardships triggered by the pandemic. 

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