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The number of reports on online information about suicide instigation in Japan from January to June more than quadrupled from a year before to 3,042, an organization commissioned by the National Police Agency said Friday.

According to the Internet Hotline Center, which monitors illegal and harmful online information for the NPA, the latest figure is the highest since 2008, when first-half data became available.

Of the total for the first half of this year, some 40%, or 1,195, have been deleted after the IHC requested that internet providers and others take action.

The total number of reports on problematic online information jumped by 67,952 to 174,537, with those regarding obscene images and illegal drugs also growing sharply.

An NPA official suggested that illegal information is increasingly easier to be found reflecting growth in internet use, including for work, amid the pandemic.

Most of the reports on information encouraging suicide were from private companies commissioned by the NPA, according to the IHC.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 119 in Japan for immediate assistance. The TELL Lifeline is available for those who need free and anonymous counseling at 03-5774-0992. You can also visit telljp.com. For those in other countries, visit www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for a detailed list of resources and assistance.

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