Suicides among Japanese children at record high during pandemic -media
A boy and a girl wearing protective masks look through the fence of Aomi Urban Sports Park, hosting 3x3 basketball tournaments, a day after the official opening of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan July 24, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
TOKYO, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Child suicides in Japan are the highest they have been in more than four decades, local media have reported, citing the countrys education ministry.
As the COVID-19 pandemic prompted school closings and disrupted classrooms last year, 415 children from elementary to high school age were recorded as having taken their own lives, according to the education ministrys survey.
Suicide has a long history in Japan as a way of avoiding perceived shame or dishonour, and its suicide rate has long topped the Group of Seven nations, but a national effort brought numbers down by roughly 40 percent over 15 years, including 10 straight years of decline from 2009.
Amid the pandemic, suicides increased in 2020 after a decade of declines, with the number of women committing suicide surging amid the emotional and financial stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic, although fewer men took their own lives.
The results showed that changes in school and household environments due to the pandemic have had a huge impact on childrens behaviour, NHK quoted an education ministry official as saying.
Melbourne will exit months of COVID-19 lockdown next week helped by a faster-than-expected vaccine uptake, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday, ahead of schedule even though daily infections hit a record the same day.
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