By Riyaz ul Khaliq
After falling for years, the number of suicides in Japan has hit a low not seen in decades, according to official data.
According to Japan’s National Police Agency, in 2018 the number of suicides per 100,000 people fell to 16.3, a 37-year low, reported Japan Today.
However, a rise in suicides among girls age 19 or younger raised concern, the report added.
Japan is one of the most developed, modern, and richest countries in the world but is struggling with an aging population and an unusually high suicide rate.
2018 was the ninth consecutive year that the number of suicides in Japan dropped, down 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 20,598.
By age group, the number of suicides committed among people in their fifties topped the list in 2018, with 3,225.
The total number of suicides in 2018 fell below the 21,000 mark for the first time since 1981, the data showed. By gender, suicides among men dropped 701 to 14,125, while for women the number inched down 22 to 6,473.
Suicide is reported to be leading cause of death in men aged 20-44, with unemployment, depression, and social pressure as key contributing factors.