In the first half of 2009 some 17,076 Japanese killed themselves, almost a 5% increase on the same period a year prior.
Should matters worsen any further, the all time record number of 34,427 deaths by suicide recorded in 2003 will be broken.
Unsurprisingly, the areas with most suicides were the major population centres, though some less populous areas did see notable increases; Okinawa saw a 51% jump in suicides.
The huge proportional increases are less impressive when it is realised that this only means an increase of 77 people in the case of Okinawa, whereas in central Tokyo alone 1,569 deaths were recorded in total.
An anti-suicide group concedes that whilst people kill themselves for many reasons, economic factors are clearly prominent, with a spike in self inflicted deaths in March and April when companies file their accounts.
Japan still has a long way to go if it is to reclaim the dubious honour of being the most suicidal nation on earth, at least in per capita terms; various nations of Eastern Europe record far higher levels, with Lithuania having a level approximately twice that of Japan.