Depression’s cost on Japan’s economy

The Japanese government released data this past week that suicides and other depression cases cost Japan’s economy about $32 billion last year, including a figure that an estimated income of 1.9 trillion yen (about $20 billion) could have been earned by working-age people who committed suicide in 2009.(Read more on BusinessWeek)

It’s the first time the government has released information like this in order to raise some public awareness about this issue. “In addition to the human toll, we want to show the economic toll from suicides is very high and grave,” said health ministry official Yukiko Nakatani.

Suicide has been a national problem for Japan. For men, the suicide rate of 36.5 per 100,000 people ranks as second-highest among the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations after 70.6 for Russian men. The suicide rate of 14.1 per 100,000 people for Japanese women ranks first among the G8 nations.

I’m glad to see that Japan is actually acknowledging this really serious issue.

One Comment to “Depression’s cost on Japan’s economy”

  1. I would like to suggest that as many Japanese people have very high reading skills in English that any articles dealing with mental health issues in Japan could usefully provide contact details for hotlines and support services for people who are depressed and feeling suicidal.

    Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):
    Japan: 0120-738-556
    Tokyo: 3264 4343

    AMDA International Medical Information Center:

    Tokyo Counseling Services:

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