The number of people who died by suicide in Japan in 2023 decreased from last year by 63 to 21,818, preliminary government data showed Friday. These figures mark the first decline in the rate in two years.

According to health ministry data based on National Police Agency statistics, male suicides accounted for 14,854, up by 108, and female suicides made up 6,964, down by 171.

The suicide rate, or the number of suicides per 100,000 people, came to 17.5.