Tokyo (AsiaNews) – Over 33,000 people took their lives in Japan last year, the tenth consecutive year in which the 30,000 mark was reached, this despite a government campaign to reduce what is one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
The information comes in a report issued by Japan’s National Police Agency on Thursday which showed that 33,093 people killed themselves in Japan in 2007—the second-largest number on record after 34,427 in 2003—mostly because of debt, family problems, depression and other health issues.
Police point the finger at the new methods of suicide that have appeared in the last three years. In addition to hanging and ritual disembowelment, which are somewhat “accepted” in Japanese culture, more and more cases involve inhaling poisonous gases, prepared with ordinary household detergents, with the Internet providing how-to instructions to people who want to kill themselves. “This extremely regrettable situation has been going on for a long time,” chief government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura said of the data. “It’s a very hard problem, but we want to do as much as we can,” he added.
Japanese culture does not encourage suicide, but is also does not have any taboos against it. If performed honourably, suicide offers people in difficulty a way to cleanse their conscience. In many Internet forums young students do complain in fact about gas-induced suicide because it does not allow the body to remain in a dignified position for when it is found.
In the last few years the government has acknowledged that suicide (which is covered under national insurance schemes) is a “serious problem” and seems poised to do something. Since January 2002 the Labour Ministry has been handing out a 38-page booklet to companies with what-to-do instructions to help company executives identify and assist workers with suicidal tendencies.
However, this step does not appear to have been made much of a difference since suicide remains one of the leading causes of death in Japan. (Source)
When you don’t believe in God and this world is all there is, suicide becomes a real option for a small minority of the population. It is a sign of a hopeless and faithless generation. This world and its allurements are only a death trap for the unsuspecting. Even here in our own country – and in particular Quebec – suicide rates are near epidemic proportions. We see suicide rates go up where God has been marginalized. I predict an explosion of suicide centers around the Western world if it does not return to the Christian faith. If you look at how our society treats and values human life today, I think we can safely say it’s going to be rather inevitable.