It is often said that the further a country develops into a modern society, the higher it’s suicide rate gets. The leading nations in Europe when it comes to suicide are mostly the highly developed Scandinavian ones, where governments reacted to this fact in the 1980s already by heavily increasing the price of alcohol and opening helplines via telephone (there was no internet access at that time).
Now, in the wake<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/10864-Japanese-Kitty-Litter-Killer-Murdered-Nine-Over-2-Months"> of the kitty litter murders, Japan is the latest country to act on this</a>.
Two weeks ago, the Japanese police arrested a 27-year-old man named Takahiro Shiraishi who had found people via social media, on so-called suicide websites, where they had expressed suicidal thought.
Mr. Shiraishi, who had developed an appetite for killing, would then lure them to his apartment promising he would end their hardship and take their life.
Mr. Toru Igawa, who heads a Tokyo-based suicide prevention center, admitted that these sites have made it worse for young Japanese people. Suicide platforms and social media have in fact made it easier for young people wanting to die as they can find companions to give them advice or, in some rare case, physical help in performing the act of killing themselves: "It may now be easier to overcome that hurdle after finding online companions."
The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Yoshihide Suga, explained that the government is aware of the issue and has instructed his cabinet to take measures against so-called "suicide websites."
Mr. Suga: "The use of Twitter, a social networking site that is difficult to keep an eye on, to exploit the cries for help by victims who wrote about committing suicide is despicable. We will get to the bottom of this crime, and work towards preventing its re-occurrence."
According to the official World Health Organization statistics, 19.7 per 100,000 people took their own lives in 2015 in Japan. In comparison, in South Korea, some 28.3 per 100,000 people took their lives in 2015.