[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list