Japan has discovered it has the unwelcome distinction of being the only G7 country in which the top cause of death for its young people is them killing themselves, with government statistics revealing suicide now accounts for over 50% of the deaths of men in their twenties and thirties.
The full breakdown, below, shows deaths arising from suicide in blue on the left, plotted against age, with various diseases and accidents making up the rest of the chart.
Suicides have in fact topped 30,000 each year for the last decade, with 31,690 people killing themselves in 2010, more than 6 times the number killed in traffic accidents.
Government statistics also show dramatic increases in certain causes of suicide – the following chart shows a 276% increase in students killing themselves due to problems finding work from 2007 to 2010, a 252% increase in suicides from familial disputes between parents and children, a 225% increase from “life difficulties,” 196% from work failures, 180% from job loss, and 130% from work related fatigue.
Suicides stemming from students trouble finding work in fact doubled over the last year, probably reflecting the ongoing breakdown in the traditional system of companies recruiting long-term regular employees straight from university, with many young people now reduced to mere contract positions where they can find work, which in Japan carries almost as much stigma as being unemployed.
There are no statistics on the number of 2ch denizens killing themselves, not that this stops them being experts on the subject:
“This data is seriously disturbing…”
“We have a suicide boom alright.”
“Learn from us, foreigners.”
“We have no dreams or hope.”
“We’re the ideal race – you can abuse us to destruction and we just quietly destroy ourselves.”
“There are probably a lot more people who want to kill themselves. The only thing stopping the numbers here is the cowardice of the Japanese.”
“The gift of our slave upbringing.”
“This country has made becoming a salaryman into a religion. Anyone who disagrees is treated like some kind of evildoer.”
“Well, it’s better than having the top cause being war deaths or something.”
“Or accidents or murders.”
“With such determined young people, our future is bright indeed.”
“Our latest young people really are small fry, aren’t they?”
“We still have our culture of harikiri so this can’t be helped.”
“Shouldn’t it be the top cause in most countries for people in their twenties? How else will you die? I expect religious reasons see the real numbers supressed.”
“Like in crime or gun battles? Americans are constantly getting killed in those.”
“We have half the population of the US and twice as many suicides. This is messed up. Live, you guys!”
“But America’s murder rate is 10 times that of Japan…”
“And there are still old farts saying young people today have it easy.”
“There are so many possible pleasures, and yet you still get surrounded by people with no hobbies or interests. If you have interests, you’d hardly want to kill yourself just like that.”
“I’m going to live long enough to see the endings to Berserk and Hunter, then I’ll kill myself.”
“Who cares about killing yourself, you can live perfectly fine on part time jobs. I’m optimistic that I may even be able to get married. Life is easy, even if you have no money.”
“Idiots like you certainly don’t kill themselves, do they? It takes a certain amount of intelligence to kill yourself, in order to look ahead.”
“The reason is that the lives of Japanese are set by their twenties. If you mess up, your life is over and there are no second chances.”
“Killing yourself in your twenties is easier than living from 30 to 80.”
“Despite the fact it’s the elderly who need to die, it’s the young people killing themselves because of the policies they made to benefit themselves.”
“Half of Japan’s young people are now society’s losers, it’s no wonder they kill themselves.”
“Does a country where all the young people are killing themselves have any future?”