Suicide now leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan

Suicide has become the leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan for the first time in the postwar period, an analysis of government demographic data has shown.

While the total number of people across the country who kill themselves has declined remarkably in recent years, statistics released by the health ministry for 2017 showed that 100 children in that particular age group took their own lives, accounting for 22.9 percent of all deaths in their generation.

Cancer came second for the age bracket, at 22.7 percent, followed by accidents at 11.7 percent.

Among Japanese nationals, the overall number of suicides peaked in 2003 at more than 32,000 before declining to 20,465 in 2017. However, the number of suicides per 100,000 people among those aged 10 to 19 remains flat.

Among those between 15 and 39, meanwhile, suicide has been the dominant cause of death since 2012. About half of those who killed themselves were in their 20s.

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