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Leading causes of deaths among men Japan 2018

In 2018, malignant neoplasms were the leading cause of deaths among the male population in Japan at close to 219 thousand cases. This number accounted for around 31 percent of approximately 699 thousand death cases of men recorded in the country during that year. Heart diseases, excluding hypertensive, followed with a share of about 14 percent.

Malignant neoplasms

In recent years, malignant neoplasms have been the leading cause of death for both female and male populations in Japan. The most frequent cause of cancerous tumor related deaths has continued to be lung cancer for both men and women. As smoking and passive smoking are some of the main causes of lung cancer, the health ministry in Japan set the goal of reducing the smoking rate of adults from around 19 to 12 percent by 2022. To minimize the risk of passive smoking, the government also amended the Health Promotion Act and prohibited smoking in public facilities, offices, most restaurants, and public areas starting from April 2020.


One of the leading causes of death specific to men in Japan was suicide. In the last decade, the number of suicides committed by men in Japan remained more than double the number of those committed by women. While close to half of the suicides in Japan were committed due to health reasons in previous years, the number of suicides owning to work-related problems has also become a serious social issue in the current Japanese society. The reason behind it is said to be the working condition of employees in Japan with a severe workload. In 2018, the ratio of people who were working over 60 hours a week was around seven percent of the employed population. The government is aiming to lower the rate to five percent by the end of 2020.

Leading causes of deaths among the male population in Japan in 2018

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*Excluding hypertensive heart diseases.
**Other dementia refers to dementia that is caused by unknown reasons.

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "State of health in Japan"

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