22:35 GMT26 January 2020
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    The shocking results of a poll conducted by Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry were released on Tuesday, showing that nearly a quarter of the country’s population had thought about ending their lives, and finding that women are slightly more prone to considering suicide than men.

    “In a survey released by the ministry, 23.6 percent of respondents had considered suicide, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in 2012. The ratio stood at 25.6 percent for women and 21.4 percent for men,” the Japan Times reported.

    Across age groups, citizens in their 50s were found to be the most prone to having thoughts of suicide, with 30.1 percent having considered it. The poll found that 28.7 percent of citizens in their 30s had considered ending their own lives, 24.3 percent of those in their 40s, 23 percent in their 20s, 20.2 percent in their 60s and 19.1 percent of those 70 and older had had the same thoughts.

    On a more pleasant note, 36.7 percent reported overcoming their thoughts of suicide by focusing on hobbies or work, and 32.1 percent reported that their families, friends or co-workers helped them get through it.

    Only 6.9 percent of respondents were aware that there is a national suicide prevention hotline, a fact that the government is now seeking to change.

    “We would like to further promote notification of consultation services and development of mental health measures at workplaces,” an official from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said in a statement.

    The Japanese National Police Agency reported 21,764 suicides in 2016.


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