Japan Sees Rise in Number of Suicides Among Working Women Last Year

By Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly
November 22, 2021 Updated: November 24, 2021

Suicides among working women in Japan rose about 30 percent during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, with approximately 1,698 women committing suicide last year, compared with an annual average of 1,323 between 2015 and 2019, a government white paper revealed on Nov. 2.

The highest rate of suicide among working women was among “employees who worked in offices, provided health care, or furnished other kinds of services,” according to the report, which was quoted by The Japan Times.

The welfare ministry stated that “changes in the working environments among non-regular workers” and “relations with others at work” were cited as possible reasons for the women’s suicides.

Part-time employees were deemed to be the most vulnerable group when the country’s working environment deteriorated due to the lockdowns.

The ministry and the National Police Agency are expected to investigate whether people who died by suicide were full-time or part-time workers from next year to determine the reasons behind suicides among working people, it said.

The overall number of suicides in Japan soared to 21,081, which is 4.5 percent higher than in 2019.

Of the figures, the number of men who committed suicide dropped to 14,055, marking the 11th consecutive year of decline.

A total of 7,026 women committed suicide last year, which is an increase of 15.4 per cent from the previous year, marking the first rise in two years.

Suicides among unemployed women and homemakers declined from the average of the past five years, while those involving employed women and female students increased.

The number of women who committed suicide due to work-related problems increased by 34.8 percent, with changes in working conditions reportedly accounting for 98.3 percent of the instances.

Among men, the number declined for both those who are employed and unemployed.

Suicides among women increased among those aged 19 and younger, those aged 20 to 39, and those aged 40 to 59. For men, the number increased among those aged 19 and under.

Meanwhile, the white paper revealed that the number of women who turned to social media to seek advice about suicidal thoughts was higher than men.

It states that two nonprofit groups that set up online contacts for individuals affected by the pandemic provided 8,262 consultations last year, and that 80 percent of the 7,558 cases where the gender of the person was known were women.

Japan reported 1,038 suicides among students in 2020, of which 499 cases involved elementary to senior high school students.

The ministry said that suicides among school-age students tend to climb when schools resume.

In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255.

If you’re in Australia and have suicidal thoughts, please contact any one of the following organisations:

  • Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14 – This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also chat online with the Lifeline support service every day from 7:00 PM until 4:00 AM (AEDST).
  • Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636 – This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also chat online with the beyondblue support service every day from 3:00 PM until 12:00 AM (AEDST).