Gov't suicide report calls for greater help for stressed youths

The government on Tuesday called for greater help for young people in Japan struggling with employment issues and other problems, saying that suicide accounts for nearly half of deaths among those in their 20s.

The appeal was made in a 2013 white paper on suicide adopted at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday. The report, citing National Police Agency data, said 27,858 people committed suicide in 2012, down 2,793 from the previous year and dipping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years.

According to a 2011 survey by the health ministry, suicides accounted for 47 percent of deaths among people in their 20s. The National Police Agency said suicides related to failure to secure jobs increased to 149 in 2012 from 60 in 2007.

The report also said suicides are also increasing among those in their 20s because of problems at work such as fatigue, mistakes and personal relations.

The report sees a strong link between suicides and the unemployment rate and called for comprehensive economic measures to cap suicides linked to economic issues.