Suicide among elementary and junior high school students in Japan is increasing year by year

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) data published in March 2023, the number of suicides among elementary, junior high and high school students in 2022 was 514, the highest number since statistics started being collected in 1980. This is a high level of concern compared to the rest of the world. It is noted that the number of suicides has increased particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I did not talk to anyone about it.”

When asked if they had ever discussed the abuse with their school teachers, 75% said they had not (ACHA Project survey, 2022). Young children often take time to realize that even if they are being abused, it is not acceptable behavior.


The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s 2022 White Paper on Suicide Prevention states that among developed countries, suicide among adults is the leading cause of death in Japan, along with South Korea. There is no end to the news of bullying and child abuse in schools. School non-attendance is also increasing following the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is a growing need for schools and local communities to work together to protect children.