Number of suicides in Japan rise for first time in 2 years

The number of suicides in Japan in 2022 rose for the first time in two years to 21,584.

The health ministry said on Friday that the preliminary figure is up 2.7 percent from the previous year.

Men made up 14,543 of the cases, while 7,041 were women. The number for men increased for the first time in 13 years.

Looking at the first 11 months of the year by age, suicides by people in their 50s accounted for the largest portion with 3,748 cases. They were followed by those in their 40s, then those in their 70s.

Yamanashi Prefecture had the highest number of cases per 100,000 people at 24.3, followed by Akita at 23.7 and Miyazaki at 22.7.

The ministry says there were more cases than usual involving men and middle-aged or older people.

It suggests that besides the coronavirus pandemic, suicides by celebrities may have played a part in the increase.

The ministry adds that it will work with other government offices to step up support measures.