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The current media frenzy over H1N1 overshadows the somber statistic that 32,249 Japanese people chose to end their own lives in 2008. 

Notable were increases in suicides by young people (under 20, 20s, 30s) and decreases in suicides by people in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. People in their 50s remain the largest group.

One has to wonder what is driving more young people to suicide. Anxiety toward the future? Pressure at work? Too much TV?

Suicide does not have the religious or moral overtones as it has in the West, although I believe the “suicide is honorable” concept died with the last samurai (no, not the Tom Cruise version).

Japan, the country with the amazing shrinking population, would be better served by more focus on the forces driving suicides, not “exciting” video of masked medical crews racing through Narita.

One Comment

  1. I loved the MASH movie (-:
    “…it brings on many changes
    And I can take or leave it if I please” (-:

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