Are suicide cases rapidly surging in Japan?


Mtsuo Shiota


December 19, 2020

I was watching News Center 9, an NHK nightly news program, on December 16. It told suicide cases have been rapidly surging since July 2020 in Japan. It showed a chart which displays January to December in x axis, number of cases in y axis, and two lines of 2020 and Mean (2017-2019). While the line Mean (2017-2019) has downward slope, the line of 2020 has a rapid upward slope. Two lines cross around July.

You can see the chart I replicated, and a more simple time series chart since 2008 in “Japan suicide cases reported by National Police Agency”. It turned out that suicide cases had been declining since 2010, but bottomed out in early 2020. I suspect that discovery delay in the Covid-19 emergency period has caused some downs in spring and ups thereafter, and that the surge is not as fast as the NHK program suggests.