March 2(Wednesday)

Decreasing the number of suicides through the strength of society and the strength of the government

 

Yesterday, the ninth meeting of the Council on Comprehensive Measures to Prevent Suicide was held. My Cabinet, which advocates the creation of "a society with the least unhappiness", considers measures to prevent suicide to be a matter of great importance. We have set up every conceivable consultation window at various ministries and have been providing consultations in order to be able to engage with the concerns of each individual with care at the closest point of interface.

 

The results of this have come to be seen little by little, with the number of suicides last year falling below 32,000 (as a provisional figure) for the first time in nine years. I intend for us to step up our efforts still further so that this year the number falls below 30,000. At yesterday's meeting, the Council decided to extend the activities of the Task Force comprised of relevant ministers, whose mission had been scheduled to expire at the end of the current fiscal year, and launched concrete activities in conjunction with the start of Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month.

 

While it has been pointed out that to decrease the number of suicides the most important thing is to revive the economy, that alone is insufficient. What is important is that all people have a place where they belong and a role to play. Families and communities and Japan as a country must actively build a society that embraces everyone warmly, abandoning no one. It will be imperative to work in collaboration with the Task Force Team for a Society Inclusive of Individuals established in January this year.

 

I urge anyone who is distressed to visit the consultation windows that the government has provided. And, if there are people around you who seem distressed, have the courage to encourage them to seek assistance. The government will do its utmost to respond.

 

*Click here for a list of consultation windows.

 

(Some of the website linked from this post are provided in Japanese only)



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