Suicides down fourth straight year

Kyodo

The number of suicides in Japan declined for the fourth straight year in 2013, the government said in its white paper on suicide prevention released Tuesday.

The total of 27,283 suicides decreased 575 from the 2012 total, when the number dipped below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years. The report is based on data from the National Police Agency.

“There are fewer suicides because of the ongoing economic recovery, driven by a series of government measures,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

However, the figures the suicide rate among young people is still high compared with the global average.

“We will examine the reasons behind this and take appropriate action,” Suga said.

May was the deadliest month with 2,542 suicides, apparently reflecting high rates of stress following the April start of the new academic and fiscal year, according to the report.

The figures revised an estimate released in January that projected a drop to 27,195.