More people died by suicide in October than from COVID-19 in 2020 in Japan

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Japan Published: Nov 30, 2020, 09:37 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in Japan Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

One worrying fact observed in this data study is that the number of female suicide rate increased by almost 83 per cent

As the world is battling the novel coronavirus, Japan had been safer from the deadly virus, as compared to other countries. However, another danger has taken over the Asian country.

With the danger of contracting COVID-19, majority of the countries went into a nationwide lockdown, which was followed by Japan too. However, unlike many others, Japan was able to contain the spread sooner than the rest of the world. Sadly, that has not eased the pressure of the locals who are struggling to pay their bills in the pandemic-hit economy.

As per the official statistics released, Japan has lost more people to suicide in the month of October alone, than to COVID-19 in the year 2020.

The monthly suicide figure increased to 2,153 for the month of October, according to data released by Japan's National Police Agency. The figure has come as a shocking reminder of the effects of the novel coronavirus on one's mental health.

Japan recorded a death toll of nearly 2,087 by coronavirus till date, the health ministry said. However, the reality is that while people were able to save themselves from contracting the deadly virus, they were unable to escape the adverse effects of the nationwide lockdown.

The government has implemented two lockdowns, to date. However, experts believe that since the intensity of the lockdowns was not that severe in Japan, other countries which have had stricter lockdowns — such as India, Italy, Pakistan, Australia — face a bigger threat of declining mental health. Japan is one of the rare countries that provides timely suicide data. 

However, Japan's alarming rise in the suicide rate is not just because of the coronavirus. The locals are also struggling with long working hours in their professional lives and teenagers are struggling with increasing school pressure. In addition to social isolation, the stigma and stereotypes associated with mental health have also been cited as one of the main reasons for people choosing to end their lives.

This increase in the suicide rate has come as a reverse trend in the country. Japan's suicide rate had been decreasing in the past year and had reached about 20,000 last year. However, the pandemic has resulted into an increase this year, which has worried the government.

One worrying fact observed in this data study is that the number of female suicide rate increased by almost 83 per cent, and for men it increased by 22 per cent. The locals believe this is because Japan has been ignoring women and their issues for too long and women often get pushed in the corner due to Japan's "survival of the fittest" thought process. A major reason behind such a massive increase in the female suicide rate is also the increasing domestic pressure of keeping the partners happy and satisfied, as well as making sure the children are healthy, fit and excelling in school. This pressure has increased in the pandemic, as many women have reported increased anxieties since the lockdowns.

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