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Female suicides rise in Japan for 2nd straight year in 2021

  • March 15, 2022
  • , Kyodo News , 1:20 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — The number of women committing suicide in Japan rose for the second straight year in 2021, totaling 7,068, due possibly to the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Tuesday.


But with fewer men killing themselves, the overall number of suicides in the country inched down by 74 to 21,007. The figure, nevertheless, remained 838 higher than the number in 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak.


“The effect of the coronavirus pandemic appears to manifest in various ways,” said a health ministry official working on measures to prevent suicides.


The number of suicides among students of elementary, junior high and high schools dropped 26 to 473 after hitting a record 499 in 2020, but the official said it “was still at a high level that needs to be monitored carefully.”


The number of suicides among women increased 42 in 2021, while that among men dropped 116 to 13,939, declining for the 12th consecutive year.


As for reasons behind suicides among women, health issues were the most common, accounting for 4,375 cases, down 144 from 2020, followed by family problems such as marital discord and pessimism about the family’s future, accounting for 1,357, up 65.


Those citing problems related to economic and life issues increased 29 to 454, with 185 women killing themselves over difficulties making a living, the data showed.


Among students, 11 elementary school, 148 junior high school and 314 high school students committed suicide in 2021, citing such reasons as mental illness including depression, poor academic performance and discord in relationships with their parents.


The data were compiled by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry based on suicide statistics released by the National Police Agency.

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