Child suicides in Japan hit record high in 2022

Japan's health and welfare ministry says 21,881 people took their own lives in 2022, and the figure includes a record number of children.

The total number rose 4.2 percent from 2021, when it posted a year-on-year decline.

The number of men who took their own lives increased for the first time since 2009. The figure stood at 14,746. The number of women grew for the third straight year to 7,135. Men accounted for 67.4 percent of the total.

By age, there were more people in their 50s, who took their own lives, and they accounted for the largest share of the total. They were followed by those in their 40s and 70s.

Among minors, 354 were in high school, 143 were in junior high school and 17 were in elementary school. The total reached 514. It is the first time that the figure has surpassed 500 since data was made available in 1980.

Ministry officials noted that there were more suicides among children and middle aged men. They said they intend to provide more support measures, such as telephone and internet counseling hotlines, and work with other relevant government offices.

The ministry is introducing various counseling services on its website.