Japan's finance minister commits suicide on Suicide Prevention Day
News On Japan via theatlanticwire.com -- Sep 11
Tadahiro Matsushita, the Minister of Financial Services, was found dead Monday, on World Suicide Prevention Day in what police are investigating as a suicide. He allegedly hung himself in his own home. It was reported that he was struggling with the pressures of his job.
According to Jiji News and other sources, the weekly magazine Shukan Shincho, was getting ready to print a story involving Matsushita and an affair involving a woman. Shukan Shincho editors were not available to comment. The last time a cabinet minister committed suicide was in 2007, when agriculture minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka hung himself after allegations of fiscal misconduct.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said, according to Reuters, "I'm shocked to hear the sad news. He always gave me encouragement when things were tough."
The timing of Matsushita's death underlines the scale of Japan's suicide problem. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Despite laws and outlines adopted by the government to tackle Japan's high suicide rate, the number of suicides has remained over 30,000 per year for 14 years. While there have been rises and ebbs, the numbers stay high even as Japan's population continues to shrink.
Suicide hotlines in Japan are so overloaded that getting through to a live operator can take thirty or more calls. Many don't have that patience. And there's a new documentary released in Japan this week examines why the Japanese government is unable to significantly reduce Japan's high suicide rates. Suicide in Japan does not have the same nuance it does in the West. It's not a religious taboo. The Japanese have a curious history of finding beauty in the act of suicide. Taking one's life is sometimes considered more heroic than defeat.
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)
Police on Friday said that a real estate company employee was stabbed by an unknown assailant in the lobby of an office building near JR Akihabara station. The man is currently in a serious condition in hospital. (Japan Today )