TOKYO. KAZINFORM - The number of suicides among school students in Japan rose by 39 in 2022 from a year earlier to a record high of 512, according to preliminary education ministry data based on multiple government statistics, Kyodo reports.
Suicides among people aged 19 and under, including those enrolled in schools, are attributed the most to worries about academic underperformance, poor career prospects, and stress related to school and university entrance exams, health ministry data showed.
Of the total, 17 elementary school students died, 143 in junior high school and 352 in senior high school. Suicides by high school boys were notably higher, up 38 to 207.
Elementary school pupils are aged between 6 and 12 in Japan.
The 2022 figure was the highest since comparable data became available in 1980, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The ministry compiled the data based on statistics from the National Police Agency and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
By month, suicides occurred most in June at 60, followed by 57 in September and 47 in March.
With student worries about grades and career prospects at their worst at the end of the Japanese academic year in March, the education ministry issued a notice to education boards nationwide on Tuesday urging them to provide the best-possible career guidance and to be vigilant in identifying students who are showing signs of stress.
As the number of suicides was higher among high school students, the ministry also asked public high schools to respond to a survey seeking to understand what they are doing to prevent suicides and how they responded in the event one occurred.