Rise in suicides by children in Japan

June 8, 2007

A record number of children and teenagers killed themselves last year in Japan, it was reported Friday.

Some 886 children and teenagers committed suicide last year, said the National Police Agency in Japan.

In 2006, the total number of suicides for all ages dropped 397 from the previous year to 32,155, but still topped 30,000 for the ninth straight year, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

The number of suicides by people 19 or younger increased by 2.5 percent to 623, including 14 elementary school students, an increase of seven over the previous year; 81 junior high school students, an increase of 15, and 220 high school students, an increase of five.

Given the sharp rise in school-related issues as motives for suicides, the police agency has listed "bullying" as an additional motive, Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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