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Reasons for suicides among students in Japan 2019

Family discord and worries over future prospects were the most common reasons for self-inflicted deaths among Japanese students in 2019. Japan reported an all-time high of suicides among students in 2018 with most cases (around 59 percent) having no clear motive mentioned.

Reasons for child suicide in Japan

While health and economic issues are the main reasons to commit suicide among the adult population in Japan, children seem to struggle primarily with interpersonal problems and academic pressure. Negative experiences can trigger impulsive behavior among children and teenagers due to hormonal imbalance during adolescence. Hence, traumatic incidents are more likely to result in suicidal thoughts and acts. Despite alarming suicide numbers in the country, mental illnesses are still very much stigmatized, and the availability of sufficient mental health support systems is limited.

Bullying and mental health among Japanese students

Only a small share of juvenile suicides was officially attributed to bullying. Since physical and emotional abuse among students has become a growing concern among school authorities and parents alike, it can be assumed that dark figures are much higher. Numbers for both suicide and bullying incidents continue to rise in Japan, prompting the government to enact the so-called anti-bullying legislation, which requires schools to carry out preventive measures to identify bullying at an early stage. Bullying at schools in Japan is often performed in a less apparent way, yet even teasing or social exclusion are likely to take their toll on a young person’s mental health and therefore, might lead to suicidal thoughts.

Main reasons for committing suicide among students in Japan in 2019

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Release date

October 2020



Survey time period


Special properties

cases reported by schools

Supplementary notes

Figures include students in elementary school, middle school and high school.
Multiple reasons were considered.

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Statistics on "Suicide in Japan"

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