Child suicides in Japan remained at record-high level in 2023

Japan's health ministry says the number of children who took their own lives remained at a record-high level in 2023. More than 510 reportedly took the action.

The ministry reported on Friday that 21,837 people in the country took their own lives last year.

The total figure is down by 44 from the previous year. Males accounted for 14,862 of the cases, while females accounted for 6,975 of the cases. The figure for males rose by 116, but the number for females fell by 160.

Health problems likely prompted the action in 12,403 cases. That is down 371 from the previous year. Living and economic problems, including business-related issues, may have been factors in 5,181 cases. That number is up 484 from 2022.

The total for 2023 includes 13 elementary school children, 153 junior high school students and 347 high school students. The combined number for the three groups was 513. That figure is down 1 from 2022, when the number was 514. That was the highest number since the ministry began keeping records in 1980.

The ministry says the situation remains critical, as child suicides are still at a very high level. Officials say they will work with relevant ministries and agencies to bolster measures aimed at tackling the problem.

For those in crisis and in need of help, the ministry provides the names of contacts on its website.