Recently the Asahi News reported the following:
The number of suicides in the whole country in 2010 was 31,560 people, exceeding 30,000 people for 13 years in a row, this was understood from the preliminary figure of the National Police Agency on the 7th of January. However, it was 3.9% or 1285 people less compared with the previous year, and it fell on 31,000 person level after an interval of nine years since the year 2001. There was a view that the enlightenment campaigns on suicide prevention started by the government, together with the strengthening of counseling activities held by the municipality and civilian organizations were taking effect gradually.
According to the summary of the National Police Agency, 22,178 men committed suicide (a decrease of 1294 people compared with last year); women was 9382 people (an increase of nine people). Men still accounted for 70 percent.
Administrative divisions in descending order was (1) Tokyo 2938 (51 people less than previous year) (2) Osaka 2031 (decrease 8 people) (3) Kanagawa 1810 (decrease 25) (4) Saitama 1717(decrease 79)(5) Aichi 1673 (decrease 50).
While the total was a decrease, by region there was a decrease in 36 administrative divisions. In running order, the highest rate of decrease was in Mie, 24.6% at 359 people, decreased by 117 people, Aomori (17.3% at 449 people decreased by 94 people), Akita (16.0% at 368 people decreased by 70 people), Shimane (15.4% at 204 people decreased by 37 people), and Kochi (14.5% at 224 people decreased by 38 people).
Yasuyuki Shimizu, the representative of the incorporated non-profit organization- the Life Link that was related to suicide measures in the country, pointed out that "The number of suicide has decreased greatly immediately in regions where the country and the municipality's suicide policy had been strengthened, and suicide consultations related enlightening activities had been advanced".
Suicides tended to increase in March and April in the span of a year, and last year with the Cabinet Office at the center, street campaigns to call for the early diagnosis of depression were carried out in various locations in March. In the preliminary figure of the National Police Agency, the number of suicide in March was a 5.0% decrease compared with the previous year, and 15.9% decrease in April. Representative Shimizu said ｢It shows that suicides would decrease if the support to live on is enhanced, it is necessary to advance the approach regardless of time or the region｣.
It is nice to note that Japan is doing something to help those people in distress in order to reduce suicide.