The Suicide Forest in Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture is probably one of the most infamous places in all of Japan. Suicide has become a major national social issue in the recent years, and companies and the government has taken many measures in attempt to reduce the risks for suicide.
In 2019, there were 20,169 confirmed suicide cases across the country, placing its rank at about 6th worldwide. Suicide rates have steadily been going down over the years, but it is still has the leading cause of death in children aged 10 and under, and its rate is actually increasing for those under 20 years of age.
While the reasons people are compelled to commit suicide are vast, many do so because of dept or overwork, both of which can cause serious depression. There have been many cases that link suicides of workers due to their harsh work environment. When people have no freedom, no free time and their will is taken away, it is understandable how those chronic conditions can lead to one killing themselves.
The most common methods of suicide are hanging and jumping from a high place, such as a building. Jumping in front of an oncoming train is also quite common, although it is a very costly cleanup. One delayed train can cost the economy millions, and families of suicide victims who do this can be fined heavily. Most Japanese people view this kind of suicide as selfish and a nuisance, having no sympathy for the victim.
As peaceful as Japan may seem, its tendency to unity and valuing the group over the individual suppresses and chokes individuals. Some suffocate to the point that they can no longer find a way to breathe, ending their suffering. I hope in the future Japan acknowledges the true reasons people commit suicide, and works to reform them, rather than just addressing the symptoms of this widespread and serious problem.