Schoolboy Jumps Off Sunshine 60

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A schoolboy has hurled himself from the top of one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, earning much attention for his “bravery” and unusual choice of location.

The boy ascended to the rooftop observation deck of Sunshine 60 at 7:40PM, scaling the 3m fence and evading the security guard present to prevent just this sort of thing, and leapt to his death below.

He landed on the roof of the entrance, dying immediately – fortunately no passers-by were injured. The security guard above says he witnessed him climbing the fence and told him to stop, “but he didn’t stop,” and summoned police after he jumped.

Police managed to identify him as a high schooler from the ID he carried, and are treating the case as a suicide. A note found in his bag made reference to “unfortunate” events but the details have not been made public.

Sunshine 60, a 240m high 60 storey skyscraper housing shopping and leisure facilities in central Tokyo’s Ikebukuro entertainment district built on the site of Sugamo Prison, was the tallest building in Tokyo when it was opened in 1978, although it now stands as only the 4th (the height of Tokyo’s vast numbers of tall buildings tends to be dictated by real estate conditions rather than competitive erection).

Suicide is the leading cause of death for young Japanese, although leaping from tall buildings is a relatively unusual method – the majority of deaths take the form of quiet strangulations at home.

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Amongst Japanese, more attention has accrued to the bravery required for making such a leap than the reasons why yet another schoolboy felt the need to take his own life…


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