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Suicides cost Japan’s economy $4bn annually


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Japanese national broadcaster NHK has calculated the potential economic loss to the country from suicides at more than $4 billion a year. The country has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, at 83.3 years, as well as the highest suicide rates.


The calculation is based on 23,000 suicide victims in 2015, aged from 15 to 69 years Figures from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare show there have been more than 30,000 suicides annually since 1998. The majority are men who suffer from health, financial, or family issues.


Last year, the number dropped below 22,000 for the first time in 22 years. The decline in the suicide rate is attributed to a revised law on suicide countermeasures. In 2005, Japan established a headquarters for suicide prevention.


Japan is also recognized as one of the world’s most overworked nations. Work stress is cited as one of the leading causes of suicide. There’s even a Japanese word ‘karoshi’ which means death by overwork. The term was coined in the 1970s and is still dominating the national headlines.


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