The biggest problem in Japan will be to fight the virus of the stigma attached to mental health.
The world is fighting with the coronavirus, Japan is fighting an enemy deadlier than this virus. In Japan, suicide has killed more people in October than the coronavirus in the whole year. In October 2020, a total of 2153 people committed suicide in Japan. The countries total number of death from Covid-19 is 2,106. Two main facts come out when we compare these numbers. The first one is that Japan never had a complete lockdown and the second is that Japan is comparatively less impacted by the virus. While the pandemic is not the only reason that triggered suicide among the people of Japan. There are many reasons behind the suicides.
The stigma around mental health issues, financial stress, isolation caused by technology, social withdrawals, and history of honorable suicides. As of 2016, Japan has a suicide mortality rate of 18.5 per 100,000 people. Japan’s suicide rate is double as compared to the annual global average of 10.6 per 100,000 people. But the coronavirus may have reversed this trend. In October, suicide among women nearly increased by 83%. Mothers are also concerned about the well being of the children who are attending classes from home.
In 2019, Japan was happy to announce that the cases of suicide have lowered. Yet again there is a tsunami of suicide in Japan. This time among the common people, celebrity suicide cases are also rising. Since July the suicides are rising with speed in Japan. According to some experts, due to coronavirus people are going through a lot of mental stress. In 2003, 34,500 people committed suicide in the country which broke all the earlier records. After that Japan’s government after many efforts reduced the suicide rates. And in 2017, the numbers declined to around 21,000. Not only youths but children and older age groups have a tendency of suicide.
According to a study in 2015, after Korea and Hungary people of Japan are most suicidal in the world. This started in 1998 when there was a financial crisis in the markets of Asia. Another important factor leading to this is that traditionally people used to commit public suicides. In 1970, a famous author Yukio Mishima along with some companions committed seppuku. Seppuku is also known as harakiri, a custom by which samurai warriors use to kill themselves in front of the crowd, and the warriors were honored for this.