Japan's suicide rate is the sixth highest in the world and the second worst among eight major industrialized nations, according to the latest government white paper on suicide measures released Tuesday.

This year's report, approved by the Cabinet, shows that the number of people who took their own life declined to 21,897 in 2016, the lowest level in 22 years. But the figures also show that suicide was the top cause of death among people in five age groups from 15 to 39, a trend that stands out amid a decline in other generations.

Japan's suicide rate (the number of suicides per 100,000 people) stood at 19.5 as of 2014. Russia topped the list of eight major economies at 21.8. Japan's rate was higher than 15.1 in France, 13.4 in the U.S., 12.6 in Germany, 11.3 in Canada, 7.5 in Britain and 7.2 in Italy. The year of most-recent available statistics varies by country.