Japan witnessed an increase in suicide cases last year owing to the increased rate among males for the first time in 13 years, government report revealed on Friday.
According to the Health Ministry, there were a total of 21,584 suicides in 2022, 577 more than the previous year, with suicides by men comprising 14,543 of the annual total of deaths, which was 604 more than 2021, reports Xinhua news agency.
The preliminary data also showed that women committing suicide in the previous year totaled 7,041, which was down by 27 than the previous year, the figure, however, remained markedly above levels seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.
The number of suicides in Japan had been steadily decreasing for 10 consecutive years through 2019, the Ministry’s data showed, but reversed course and remained comparatively high since the beginning of the global pandemic in 2020.
The number of suicides among unemployed people in 2020 jumped by almost 50 per cent to 1,038 people, according to the data based on statistics from the National Police Agency.
Suicides among those living off pensions or employment benefits, totalled 5,347 in the recording period, the data showed, up by 705.
Of the reasons for people taking their own lives, health issues were the most common motive, accounting for 11,125 cases, while family problems were cited in 4,214 cases, the data showed.
The Ministry also said that suicides among school-age children edged down in 2022 by three to total 441 cases.