Updated: May 11, 2016
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7 Reasons Why The Suicide Rate In Japan Is So High

Japan is a country full of amazing things, but it also has critical issues. One of them is a high suicide rate and it is so serious. About 70 people kill themselves in a day in Japan...

70 People Commit Suicide Every Day

Japan is a small island country, however, approx.70 people commit suicide everyday and it IS a serious ongoing issue.

According to WHO's suicide data in 2012, Japan ranks the world's 16th highest suicide rate country in the world.(18.5%/100k)

In 2012, more than 25,000 people took their own lives.
Men's suicide rate was 2.3 times as high as women's.

Why This Many People Want to Commit Suicide in Japan?

Of course no one is living the same life so the reason why they commit suicide depends on their own lives, but it seems like there are some major reasons that put Japanese people under a lot of pressure and make them want to kill themselves.
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1. Bullying

Bullying (especially at school)is one of the controversial social issues that leads to high suicide rate in Japan.

We Japanese hear a number of suicide cases resulting from bullying at school on news every year.
It is often the case that even after a student took his/her life, the school won't admit that there was bullying going on at school saying that the student's suicide has nothing to do with the school.

Bullying at school often includes both physical and mental abuse.
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2. Cyber Bullying

Along with the development of technology, bullying on the internet has come to prevail in Japanese society.

People go through mental pain caused by people on the internet.
This type of bullying shows little mercy because the bullies are often anonymous and can say or do whatever they want to without deeply thinking about consequences.
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3. Hikikomori (isolation from others)

Hikikomori("social withdrawal") is a Japanese word for refusal of ever leaving one's house/room.

A million young people in Japan are thought to remain in their homes with no intention of going to school or work.
Some of them stay stuck in their homes for decades.

Those Hikikomori people shut out the outside world around them and they become completely isolated from others.

A significant number of Hikikomori people commit suicide by often hanging themselves, throwing themselves from the window, or taking sleeping pills.

A lot of times,sadly, those who withdraw themselves cannot find the motivation to live or cannot see the value of their own lives in society.
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4. Financial Pressure

Financial issues are one of the reasons why Japanese people commit suicide today.

Japan still widely employs traditional patriarchal family system and men are often expected to make money for the family while women do housework and raise kids.

When they are not making enough money to support the whole family, they feel hopeless and can't stand the burden on heir shoulders, which leads to the action of committing suicide.

Aside from psychological difference between men and women, this is probably one of the major reasons why more men commit suicide than women in Japan.
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5. Entrance Examinations

Like those of China and South Korea, entrance examinations are one of the hardest events Japanese people go through in life.

Besides school, a lot of elementary school students go to a place called "cram school/prep school (塾)" to get more educated and prepared for the entrance tests of junior high school.

Junior high school students do the same to prepare for high school entrance exams.

High school students again do the same to get into college.

Having to deal with this huge pressure and anxiety of passing or failing the entrance exams from very young age is almost brutal and some feel like there is no choice but kill themselves to escape from this vicious life cycle.
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6. New Grad Job Hunting System

Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates is a very common way for college students to get a job in Japan.

This system puts students under a lot of pressure because they usually have to start looking for jobs in their junior year at college while they still have to focus on study.

Japan is a very competitive country when it comes to getting prestigious jobs, and job hunting requires way more than what normal college students can perform.

A lot of students think that if they fail at this new grad recruiting, their life is doomed.
If they have no job offer from companies by the end of this job hunting phase (depends every year), they tend to feel so depressed and hopeless.

The sense of refusal from society diminishes their motivation to live a life and some choose to die by their own hand.
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7. Historical Practices

Unlike countries of Christianity where people are taught that suicide is a sin against God, Buddhism and samurai culture don't really accuse people for committing suicide.

In fact, some people consider suicide as a way of taking responsibility.

Historically speaking, taking samurai's harakiri(seppuku/切腹) and Kamikaze pilots in World War II into consideration, suicide is not necessarily thought to be a dishonorable act in Japan.
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