Tokyo, Jan. 21 (Jiji Press)–The number of people who killed themselves in Japan in 2021 came to 20,830, down 251, or 1.2 pct, from the previous year, the health ministry said in a preliminary report based on police data Friday.
In 2020, when the novel coronavirus began to spread in the nation, the number of suicides among working women grew sharply. But the figure fell slightly in 2021.
Meanwhile, the number of people who committed suicide after struggling to make a living rose sharply, possibly a result of the prolonged coronavirus pandemic and a string of COVID-19 states of emergency declared by the Japanese government.
The suicide rate, measured by the number of suicides per population of 100,000, stood at 16.5, down 0.2 from the previous year.
“The figure returned to levels before the coronavirus pandemic,” a health ministry official said.
The number of men who committed suicide decreased by 240 to 13,815, down for the 12th straight year, and that of such women fell by 11 to 7,015.
Among suicide cases confirmed between January and November last year, those related to livelihood and economic problems marked the sharpest year-on-year increase, rising by 114 to 3,038. Of them, 990 killed themselves due to hard living, up 98.
In January-November 2020, the number of suicides among students increased significantly, partly reflecting the impact of pandemic-caused school closures.
In the same period of 2021, the number of suicides among elementary school pupils fell by three to 10, while that among junior high school students increased by one to 131. The number of high schoolers who killed themselves came to 279, down 38 after hitting a record high in the previous year, while 384 university students committed suicide, up by three.
By prefecture, Yamanashi logged the highest suicide rate, at 23.7, followed by Aomori at 23.6. The rate was lowest in Kanagawa at 12.8, followed by Ishikawa at 13.2.