Sunday, April 11, 2021
Home News Reports To tackle increasing suicide rates during the pandemic, Japan appoints a 'Minister of Loneliness'

To tackle increasing suicide rates during the pandemic, Japan appoints a ‘Minister of Loneliness’

PM Suga, while appointing Sakamoto on February 12, said, "Women are suffering from isolation more (than men are), and the number of suicides is on a rising trend. I hope you will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively."

For the first time in eleven years, Japan has seen a spike in the number of suicides in the country. The government has now appointed a Minister of loneliness to reduce loneliness and social isolation among the residents.

As per a report in Japan Times, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga appointed Tetsushi Sakamoto as the ‘Minister of Loneliness’. Sakamoto is already dealing with the declining birth rate in Japan and promoting regional revitalization.

During a press conference, PM Suga, while appointing Sakamoto on February 12, said, “Women are suffering from isolation more (than men are), and the number of suicides is on a rising trend. I hope you will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively.”

The history of loneliness in Japan

Loneliness has been a problematic issue for Japan for a long time. It is often discussed along with “hikikomori”, which means the people who live in extreme social isolation. Several attempts have been made so far to deal with the issue. For example, engineers have developed a robot that is programmed to hold someone’s hand when they are lonely. There are service providers who charge people to keep them company. You can also hire a companion or someone to cuddle in Japan. Other services to tackle loneliness include hire a friend or hire a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Rise in death rate during the Covid-19 pandemic

As per reports, there has been a rise in suicides in Japan during the pandemic as people were more socially isolated than ever. This was the first time Japan saw an increase in suicide cases in eleven years.

A rise in suicides cases during the pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with people more socially isolated than ever, Japan saw a rise in suicides for the first time in 11 years. According to the Japan Times, the preliminary figure released by the National Policy Agency showed that 20,919 people died of suicide in 2020, which was 750 more than the previous year. There was a noticeable rise in suicides among young people and women. In October alone, 879 women died by suicide in Japan that was 70% more compared to 2019.

Michiko Ueda, a professor who is studying suicides in Japan, said that many single women are living alone, and a large number of them do not have stable employment. “They have to support their own lives and they don’t have permanent jobs. So, when something happens, of course, they are hit very, very hard,” said Ueda.

Loneliness is a worldwide issue

Japan is not the only country to be dealing with loneliness. A 2017 Red Cross report suggested that over nine million people in the United Kingdom feel lonely or left out. After the study was released, the UK became the first nation to appoint a loneliness minister in 2018. The British government has defined loneliness as “a subjective, unwelcome feeling of lack or loss of companionship.”

Ramona Herdman, head of tackling loneliness at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the United Kingdom had said, “Loneliness is always an unwelcome feeling and an experience which leads to bad health outcomes.”

In a 2018 report, global health organization Cigna said that loneliness “has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Here are 5 major incidents of violence that took place during the fourth phase of polls in West Bengal

Fourth phase of polls in West Bengal today was the most violent one, with several incidents of attack on central forces by TMC workers

Arhtiyas call off strike after Punjab govt modifies software allowing them to get paid for foodgrain procurement from farmers

The Arhtiyas withdrew the strike after the CM assured them that they will remain an integral part of the food grain procurement system

Lokmat thinks infamous discussion of journalists with Prashant Kishor took place in a real clubhouse, says comments were leaked because ‘door was open’

Lokmat said that a TMC meeting took place in a Clubhouse in Kolkata, and journalists and citizens overheard it as door was open

TMC leader Sujata Mondal Khan labels Dalits as ‘beggars by nature’, claims that they sold themselves to the BJP

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sujata Mondal Khan made disparaging comments against the Dalit community.

Lakhs of Muslims gather in Bareilly after Friday prayers demanding arrest, beheading of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati

Several Muslims shared videos of the protest in Bareilly on Twitter, where they referred to Yati Narsinghanand as a ‘Bhagwa Terrorist’.

Prashant Kishor says internal survey shows BJP win, hails PM Modi, admits TMC’s Muslim appeasement politics: Here is everything he said on Clubhouse

"Major problem that we have to accept is that there have been efforts for the last 20 years to appease the minorities," said Prashant Kishor

Recently Popular

Maharashtra Congress leader slams Aaditya Thackeray for clearing Rs 3,693 crores to renovate bungalows of Shiv Sena corporators

Janardan Chandurkar requested governor to intervene after Aaditya Thackeray allotted Rs3,693 crores to Shiv Sena corporators

USA: Police officers show up at Twitter user’s home for criticising Congresswoman AOC on social media, her spokesperson denies involvement

Two policemen visited the home of an American citizen for tweeting against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

Prashant Kishor says internal survey shows BJP win, hails PM Modi, admits TMC’s Muslim appeasement politics: Here is everything he said on Clubhouse

"Major problem that we have to accept is that there have been efforts for the last 20 years to appease the minorities," said Prashant Kishor

Watch: Arnab Goswami’s special message for Barkha Dutt after Sachin Vaze lands in Taloja Jail

Without explicitly naming Barkha Dutt, Arnab Goswami slammed the journalist for celebrating his unlawful arrest.

‘Indiranagar ka Gunda’ Rahul Dravid sets the internet on fire with appearance in CRED ad

Cricket legend Rahul Dravid has set the internet on fire with his performance in an advertisement for CRED.

Lutyens journalist speaking ‘truth to the power’ by discussing Mamata Banerjee’s toilet routine

An embarrassed Prashant Kishor jokingly asked the Lutyens journalist, "Am I expected to answer this also?"
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
528,378FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe