The number of suicides in Japan in 2022 rose from the previous year, pushed up by the first increase among men in 13 years, preliminary government data showed Friday.

Deaths among men rose by 604 to 14,543, leading to 21,584 suicides in the country overall, an increase of 577 from the previous year. Numbers remained elevated for the past few years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The rise in men in their 40s through 60s, as well as pensioners or those who are unemployed, stands out," a health ministry official said. "Suicides by famous people may also have had an effect."