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Suicide in Japan

thomas

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According to the National Police Agency the number of suicides in Japan decreased by 2.9%.

Suicides in Japan total 31,042 last year

=> http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=1&id=224187&display=all


Related links:

National Police Agency

=> http://www.japanreference.com/cgi-bin/jump.cgi?ID=586

Suicide and Modern Japan

=> http://www.asij.ac.jp/japan/chikaw.html

Seppuku - Ritual Suicide

=> http://victorian.fortunecity.com/duchamp/410/seppuku.html

Article: Suicide: still an honorable end?

=> http://japanupdate.com/previous/99/05/13/international1.shtml

Youth suicide league

=> http://www.unicef.org/pon96/insuicid.htm

Suicide helplines in Japan

=> http://www.befrienders.org/bidir/japan.htm

There's an excellent study about suicide in Japan by Maurice Pinguet entitled "Voluntary Death in Japan" (original in French, I've read it in German, below there's some info by Amazon)

=> http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...ef=sr_1_3/102-1742700-0823311#product-details
 

moyashi

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Interesting topic I bet coming up.

I've never really thought about but I bet that suicide no longer is so honorable. It tends to be way to keep your family out of serious generation spanning debt, an exit from school related stress, and a way to avoid being shamed by scandal. Of course, the unkown factor is here like any where else in the world.

Jumpers, who decide to commit suicide now have to realize that if they stop a subway line for hours will have to have their surving family pay for the time a line is stopped. I've heard that a jumper can rack up charges close to $500,000. Well, I've heard of a family being really charged that much but it's a smart Urban Legend to spread since it's a pretty good deterant.

Also, the city of Sapporo has mirrors on the wall closest to where the trains roll in. That way the jumper has a last second chance to see their own face before the jump.
 
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thomas

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@ Costs of suicide

I've read somewhere that each minute a train is stopped because of a suicide costs about US$ 50.000 in lost ticket sale. It's actually very likely that any transportation company will sue the surviving family to recover the lost revenue, it's an ordinary civil case.
 

kinjo

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I never heard of the familys having to pay for lost revenue ect, I think thats so cruel!!
I must enquire if its the same here also, I really dont think so, and I really hope not.
 
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thomas

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I have to agree with you, Debs, it sounds very cruel and tactless. On the other hand, such suicides do happen all too frequently and cause huge traffic problems with hundreds of thousands of people stuck at stations, getting late to work for hours etc. etc., the economic aspect of such tragedies can't be neglected.

The act of suicide is also an accusation and a signal to society. The more people involved the stronger the signal.
 

moyashi

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It's cruel, but it japan it makes sense.

If a jumper is going to cause [meiwaku] trouble, then the fines are to instill in the jumper that they're going to cause [meiwaku] they're going to cause [meiwaku] for their family too.

This might prevent some suicides though, so horrible it may seem it does make some sense.
 

samuraitora

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Here is the states, under certain circumstances, they have done the same thing. There was a jumper in New York and Chicago who's family was charged for damage to the city, personal items (car was landed on), and revenue for buses and trains not being able to run.

This is a fairly good deturant. Also in Los Angeles, the brother of a man was charged with first degree murder. He supplied the gun that was used to comitt suicide. When the person took is life, the bullet went through his head and struck a lady behind him. Killing her instantly. This made a bold statement and hasn't happened since.
 

moyashi

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Wow, haven't heard those stories yet.

yeah, If somebody used my gun to off themselves is one thing but adding another to the picture is scary.

thank goodness I doN't have a gun :) I want a katakana though ;)
 
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thomas

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Originally posted by samuraitora
Also in Los Angeles, the brother of a man was charged with first degree murder. He supplied the gun that was used to comitt suicide. When the person took is life, the bullet went through his head and struck a lady behind him. Killing her instantly. This made a bold statement and hasn't happened since.
In that particular case, what exactly was considered to be murder? Participating in his brother's suicide by providing a gun or the accidental killing of the lady? I know nothing about U.S. criminal law, but from a legal point of view both cases do not seem to qualify as murder (without knowing any specific details).
 

Shinmeiryu

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With the accidental killing of the lady, they can charge the brother for being an accomplice with a person committing manslaughter. That [involuntary manslaughter] would probably be the murder case. A stretch, but it's possible and either way, he should be in trouble.
 

thomas

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I can only talk from a (Central-) European perspective:

the brother is definitely accomplice in manslaugther in the lady's case (I think that manslaugther is involuntary as a matter of principle, 'willful manslaugther' is murder); as for providing the gun: most European criminal codes stipulate special legal provisions for assisting someone in committing suicide on certain conditions (strong physical pressure etc.). If these conditions aren't given, it's considered to be murder.

Well, it's been a long time since I have studied criminal law, forgive me any legal misconceptions.
;)
 

thomas

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"Classical waiwai" on suicide:

Paying for suicide costs more

"Committing suicide carries the ultimate cost -- life. But just in case anyone thinks that taking their own lives would be an easy way out, perhaps a little deeper thought is called for. In addition to the grief, heartbreak and emotional burdens that come with suicide, comes a very hefty price tag."

=> http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/waiwai/0208/020817suicide.html
 

moyashi

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ghosts ....

Even if it isn't suicide ... a death in a house, apartment is the death of that building too ...

ghosts ....
 

thomas

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Japanese youth challenge suicide taboo

When Chiako Matsumura's father killed himself, her family instructed her not to tell anyone the truth about his death. "My relatives told me to tell everyone my father had died in a car accident," she wrote in an essay published when she turned 21 and which appeared last month in a book relating similar stories about parental suicide.

She had kept the secret hidden for almost seven years, a period she describes as painful. In truth, Chiako was as much a victim of Japan's decade-long recession as was her father, one of thousands who killed themselves because they were deep in debt or had lost their jobs.

These factors have in fact been pushing up the number of suicides in Japan in recent years. The rising rates of suicides, in fact, is matched only by the climbing unemployment rate, which stands at 5.4 percent - 11.2 percent of them middle-aged men.

=> http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/DK30Dh02.html
 

Hoyu

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Japanese Teen Suicide

I won't quote any statistics here, for they are easy to find on the web if interested, but I have heard that teen suicide is very much still rampant in Japan. My wife once explained to me that from early childhood Japanese people are conditioned to gear their life towards passing the college entrance exams. More pressure is put on the males of this society, and even more put upon the first-born male.

As we all know, life throws many curveballs along the way, and those of us with even minor challenges may very well find ourselves struggling as the college entrance exams come to bear down upon us. Family and peer pressures can seem insurmountable to many of us. Test anxiety is at an extreme, and any hope for an honorable and prolific future weighs in the balance.

Then on the day the results are received, those who did not make the cut are left disgraced by the family and the rest of society. This is a tremendous weight to bear for any young person with their whole life ahead of them.

Many just can't take it. And they believe that the honorable way out is to commit suicide. This is an ancient conceptuality and tradition that sadly still exists to this day in Japanese society.

My response is that this part of Japanese society needs some major revisions, and our children need not feel disgrace in failure, but come to some acceptance of the honor in learning from it. I can only hope that they may find the determination to prove themselves through non-traditional means, perhaps including entrepreneurial endeavors.

When speaking on topics of suicide, we must come to admit our own failures. People only take such actions when they feel there is no way out. In the "Art Of War," written by Sun Tzu, we learn never to back a Tiger into a corner. And all of our young people should be perceived as Tigers. Let's give them a way out!!! Shall we???
 

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need some hard facts

it's interesting to hear you guys talk about the japanese government charging families the costs of train delays due to suicides. i tried to find some hard facts or articles discussing the matter, but all i could come up with was the classic waiwai [the parody portion of a net magazine]. if anyone can find some sound sources, please email them to me soon! i'm considering writing a philosophy paper on the matter (questioning whether punishment can be justified merely by its deterrent effects), and wondering if it's really true. thanks!
 

kinjo

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hmmm in our japanology course we learned that the suicide rate of japan aint really higher then in other countries. it just seems to be higher because it is dealt in a different way with it like talked about it on the news, while its not talked about at all in germany.
i think the third (or fourth, im not sure) reason for the death of a youth in germany is suicide. but since its never talked about noones knows.
 

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They have the denial thing down to a science. It's shameful for the world to know of such statistics. Japan has no idea of how the world views japanese men as chauvenistic and perverted.
Or they want to deny that too.
 
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