[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Suicides cost Japan economy $30bn
Study shows medical bills for the depressed and lost incomes of those who took their lives contributed to figure.
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2010 08:39 GMT
Japan, with about 127 million people, has one of the world's highest suicide rates [GALLO/GETTY]

An increase in cases of suicides and depression cost the Japanese economy almost $32bn last year, acccording to a government study.

The study shows unemployment benefits, medical bills of the depressed and the lost incomes of those who killed themselves have all contributed to this figure.

An official at Japan's health, labour and welfare ministry said: "Given that the number of suicides in Japan has been over 30,000 for 12 straight years, this is a problem that needs to be addressed by the entire nation."

Recent suicide cases have been linked to debt, family problems, depression and other health issues.

Naoto Kan, Japan's prime minister, said: "There are many causes of suicides. Decreasing them would be one way to build a society with a minimum level of unhappiness."

Japan has the seventh highest suicide rate in the developed world, with 35.8 men per 100, 000 killing themselves.

There have been ongoing efforts by the government to tackle a rise in suicide cases since the economic crisis of the 1980s which left many out of work and in debt.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
join our mailing list