Japan appoints ‘minister of loneliness’ to tackle growing suicide rate

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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has appointed a minister of loneliness as country is beefing up measures to tackle growing trend of suicide.

Japan is not the first country to take such measures as the UK had created a similar role in 2018.

Suga has named minister Tetsushi Sakamoto, who is simultaneously in charge of combating the nation’s falling birth rate and revitalizing regional economies, for the new portfolio, Japan Times reported.

According to preliminary figures released by the Japan’s National Police Agency, 20,919 ended their own lives only in 2020, up 750 from the previous year and marking the first year-on-year increase in 11 years.

While assigning the portfolio, the Japanese PM expressed concerns that “more women are feeling lonely and prone to suicide”. He directed him to design “comprehensive” policies against loneliness.

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