Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Japan Issues Suicide Alert

Japan’s suicides have been on a downward trend or so everybody thought. 

In the first half of this year, there was a drop in the number of suicides in Japan. And in 2019, the figure fell to a record low – a Statista 2020 report put the number at 20,169 – which non-governmental groups attributed to increasing efforts on addressing the issue. 

[Compared to 20,840 in 2018; 21,321 in 2017 and 21,897 in 2016]. 

But in August this year, Japan reported nearly 1,900 suicides, up 15 percent from the same month last year. 

On Monday, Chief Cabinet Secretary (previously the country’s health minister) Katsunobu Kato declared: “There has been an uptick in the number of suicide cases since July. We have to acknowledge the fact that so many people are ending their precious lives” – and even alluded that “some” people were struggling to cope during the coronavirus crisis. 

Sunday’s suicide death of popular actress Yuko Takeuchi (left) not only shocked the nation – but it follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their own lives. 

Forty-year-old Takeuchi was a household name in Japan – she played the lead in the 2018 series Miss Sherlock on the Hulu-HBO Asia network, and also had a minor part in the 1998 Japanese horror classic Ring. She had given birth to her second child in January. 

Earlier in September, another popular Japanese actress 36-year-old Sei Ashina (right) died in an apparent suicide. In July, actor Haruma Miura is also believed to have taken his own life. 

In May, reality TV show star Hana Kimura (right), 22, from the Netflix show Terrace House, also died, apparently following online abuse, making international headlines.

Those struggling to cope should seek help! Please, please do not give up, ever! 

On Sunday, Celtic clinched a clinical three-goal win against Hibernian – and remain one point behind Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers, with a game in hand. 

Callum McGregor drove home from a rasping low effort in the seventh minute, and Albian Ajeti capitalised on poor defending to slot in from close range twenty-eight minutes later. And then, a delightfully weighted through ball from midfielder David Turnbull allowed Mohamed Elyounoussi to slide in low into the net from 12 yards in the seventy-ninth minute. 

Hibs actually contributed to a very entertaining first half but couldn't get going at all after the break as Neil Lennon's men dominated possession. 

Celtic travel to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina for their Europa League qualifying play-off round clash against Fudbalski klub Sarajevo on Thursday, before visiting St Johnstone in the league on Sunday.

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