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Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 52–66 | Cite as

Suicide prevention strategies in Japan: A 15-year review (1998–2013)

  • Tadashi TakeshimaEmail author
  • Takashi Yamauchi
  • Masatoshi Inagaki
  • Manami Kodaka
  • Toshihiko Matsumoto
  • Kenji Kawano
  • Yotaro Katsumata
  • Maiko Fujimori
  • Ayaka Hisanaga
  • Yoshitomo Takahashi
Original Article

Abstract

Suicide is a global public health problem and solutions to it can be found only through a global dialog. The suicide rate in Japan has been alarming, but Japan has made substantial efforts to reduce this rate, making prevention a high priority. This report reviews the developmental stages of a comprehensive policy of suicide prevention in Japan from 1998 to 2013. Our review suggests that suicide prevention activities were facilitated by the 2006 Basic Act for Suicide Prevention and the 2007 General Principles of Suicide Prevention Policy. Along with the establishment of a Special Fund program for local governments, the Basic Act and General Principles led to the development of a comprehensive and multi-sector approach to suicide prevention. Suicide rates in Japan, especially among middle-aged men, decreased consistently after 2009, suggesting that the initiatives were effective. Continuous monitoring is needed to evaluate Japan’s suicide prevention policy.

Keywords

suicide suicide prevention policy development Basic Act for Suicide Prevention Japan 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We extend our gratitude to Dr Shekhar Saxena, Dr Alexandra Fleischmann, and Dr Yutaro Setoya of the World Health Organization, and Dr Wang Xiangdung of the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office. We also would like to thank Japan’s Cabinet Office and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan for their support.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tadashi Takeshima
    • 1
    Email author
  • Takashi Yamauchi
    • 2
  • Masatoshi Inagaki
    • 3
  • Manami Kodaka
    • 2
  • Toshihiko Matsumoto
    • 2
  • Kenji Kawano
    • 2
  • Yotaro Katsumata
    • 4
  • Maiko Fujimori
    • 2
  • Ayaka Hisanaga
    • 2
  • Yoshitomo Takahashi
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Suicide Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Center for Suicide Prevention, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and PsychiatryTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of NeuropsychiatryOkayama University HospitalOkayamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Child StudiesUniversity of Niigata PrefectureNiigataJapan
  5. 5.Department of Disaster PsychiatrySchool of Medicine, University of TsukubaIbarakiJapan

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