Japan appoints ‘Minister Of Loneliness’ as suicide rate rises alarmingly for first time in 11 years
According to a report in The Japan Times, more people died by suicide in Japan last October than the total number of coronavirus deaths up until then
In an effort to tackle rising suicide rate in Japan, the country has appointed a 'Minister of Loneliness' to help reduce loneliness and social isolation among citizens, reported The Japan Times.
In 2020, suicide rates in Japan rose for the first time in 11 years, with the numbers showing women as particularly vulnerable.
According to the report, more people died by suicide in Japan last October than the total number of coronavirus deaths up until that point.
According to preliminary figures released by the National Police Agency, 20,919 people died by suicide last year, up 750 from 2019 and marking the first year-on-year increase in 11 years, reported The Japan Times
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga added a minister of loneliness to his Cabinet earlier in Februrary, reported The Insider.
"Women are suffering from isolation more (than men are), and the number of suicides is on a rising trend," Suga told Sakamoto at a February 12 news conference announcing the new role, reported Japan Times. "I hope you will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively."
Loneliness has been identified as a long-standing issue in Japan.