Suicide rate in Japan related to bad weather – study

7 years ago by in Japan

A recent study released on Thursday shows that the number of suicides on railways in Japan usually grows after several days of bad weather.  Thus training operators have to be more alert and increase patrols during longer periods of rain.

Japan is known for its high suicide rate. It actually has one of the highest suicide rates of the developed countries. The study tried to find reasons behind some of the deaths that contribute to this black statistic.

Japanese scientists wanted to check if the commonly held belief about mood and weather is true.  A team led by Hiroshi Kadotani of Shiga University of Medical Science reviewed 971 instances where someone had taken their own life, or attempted to do so, between 2002 and 2006 in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Osaka, Japan’s main commercial hubs, the international press reports.

They discovered that several days in a row with no or low sunlight leads to the increase of the number of suicides. They cross-referenced this with weather records and found that a high proportion of incidents happened after three-to-seven days of reduced sunlight—days that had been cloudy or rainy days.

“We observed an increased proportion of railway suicide attempts after several days without sunlight,” the study’s abstract said.