TOKYO, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 pandemic saw the suicide rate in Japan spike between March 2020 and June 2022, with females in their 20s accounting for the largest increase, local media said Wednesday.
Citing a recent study conducted by a team of researchers including Taisuke Nakata, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo, Kyodo News said there were 8,000 more suicides in Japan during the pandemic period.
The study showed that large numbers of women aged 19 years or younger also committed suicide during the period.
"Women, who have more non-regular jobs than men, tend to be more affected economically, while young people are possibly more likely to be forced into isolation due to behavioral restrictions," Kyodo News quoted Nakata as saying.
He indicated that financial stress contributes to an increase in the suicide rate in Japan.
According to official figures, the number of suicides totaled around 21,000 in both 2020 and 2021.
The team reached the overall pandemic-driven suicide figure based on past figures and by factoring in the effects of economic turmoil, which is one of the predominant reasons for suicide in Japan.
The number of suicides during the pandemic likely increased by 8,088, the group believes, according to Kyodo News.
People in their 20s comprised the largest number of suicides at 1,837, with women totaling 1,092 suicides altogether.
Those 19 years old or younger accounted for 377, 282 suicides of which were women.
Suicides in Japan have been decreasing annually since 2010. However, the downward trend reversed in 2020 and remained the same in 2021, according to government figures.
According to the latest data, suicides by elementary, junior high and high school students hit a record high of 499 in 2020.
The figure remained at higher than usual levels, possibly due to the downside effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These included schools, public playing areas and shops being shuttered at times when emergency virus measures were implemented, which forced school-aged children to stay at home for long periods of time. ■