Following the economic crash of the late 1990s, the suicide rate in Japan increased to a rate of over 30 000 people per year and has been one of the highest in the world. Cultural factors have influenced this high suicide rate, such as a tradition of honorable suicide as well as permissive attitudes towards suicide that remain in modern times. Additionally, the economic downturn, particularly the trend of unemployment in middle-aged men, also played a significant role in the high suicide rate. The suicide rate has started to decrease in recent years perhaps in part due to suicide prevention measures undertaken by the government.
Keywords: Japan; culture; economy; prevention; suicide.
© 2016 The Authors. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences © 2016 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology.