For the last fourteen years at least 30,000 Japanese have killed themselves annually. Why?
Last month in Osaka, a high school student, and captain of his basketball team, hung himself one day after he told his mother that he had been struck 30 or 40 times by his coach. This is one of many such similar incidents that have occurred in Japan over the past few decades in which verbal or physical abuse has pushed the victim to take his or her own life. Faced with the choice of enduring ongoing persecution, bullying, or high stress encounters with others, a significant number of Japanese choose to end their own lives. Indeed, in Japan suicide is seen as, along with bullying, one of the major social issues facing the country.