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Japanese group internet arranged suicides
Japanese group internet arranged suicides
The internet makes dating and shooping for stuff more efficient. Internet arranged suicides are more efficient too. Particularly in Japan with its tradition of honoring suicide. Sad and troubling to see depressed young people ending their lives so early. I am not opposed to suicide in every case, but my preferred method is sex with two hot twenty year old women when I am 85!
Group Suicides Increasing in Japan By HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press Writer
Fri Mar 10, 5:44 PM ET
Six young Japanese were found dead from asphyxiation in a car Friday, charcoal stoves still smoking beside them – apparently the latest victims of a surge in suicide pacts arranged over the Internet.
Authorities said they suspected the five men and a woman, all in their 20s, met online before dying together Thursday night in a forested area 50 miles northwest of Tokyo. The car's windows had been sealed with tape.
Internet suicide pacts have occurred since at least the late 1990s and have been reported everywhere from Guam to the Netherlands. But in Japan, where the suicide rate is among the industrialized world's highest, officials are worried about a recent spate of such deaths.
A record 91 people died in 34 Internet-linked suicide cases in Japan in 2005, up from 55 people in 19 cases in 2004, the National Police Agency reported last month. The number of Internet suicide pacts has almost tripled from 2003, when the agency began keeping records.
Earlier this week, a man and two women in their 20s and 30s were found dead in Aomori, 360 miles northeast of Tokyo. The three also died by inhaling charcoal fumes in a car, and police suspected suicide.
"Depressed, young people and the Internet – it's a very dangerous mix," said Mafumi Usui, a psychology professor at Niigata Seiryo University.
"Many young people try to kill themselves but can't carry through. But when a group of strangers meet on an Internet suicide site, and someone suggests a specific way to die ... that's the dangerous dynamic behind the recent group suicides," Usui said.
Often designed with an ominous, pitch-black background, the Internet sites host chat rooms spilling over with death wishes and exchanges of ideas on how best to take your own life.
Most sites appear to be frequented largely by young people, some still in their early teens, who are troubled by bullying, romantic breakups or abusive relatives or a disconnect with family.
"When Japan was poor, families did more things together out of necessity, like sharing a bath or eating together, and the community was much more important, especially in rural communities," Usui said.
"But now it's increasingly all about the individual. This leaves people more isolated and likely to contemplate suicide," he said.
Suicide has also long been a venerated act in Japanese culture. In feudal Japan, the ritual was considered an honorable death under the samurai warrior ethic, and contemporary movies and sitcoms still abound with characters who take their own lives.
Also Friday, the Defense Agency said suicides among Japanese troops have hit a record high. The agency said 94 members of the 255,000 Self-Defense Force killed themselves in the year ending March 31, 2005, up 25 percent from the previous year and the highest number on record.
This works out to nearly 37 suicides per 100,000 soldiers, by far exceeding the national average of 24 suicides per 100,000 Japanese civilians.
By comparison, the suicide rate in the United States was 10.7 per 100,000 people in 2001, according to the World Health Organization, while it was 13.5 in Germany. It was 6.9 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom in 2002 and 20.6 in Finland in 2003, according to WHO-complied statistics.
Japan sent troops to Iraq in late 2004. The Defense Agency said there were no suicides by soldiers in Iraq but four killed themselves after returning.
Politicians have suggested that Internet suicide sites be regulated or shut down. In October last year, police launched a crackdown with the cooperation of Internet service providers.
Since then, authorities acting on tips intervened in 12 cases, preventing 14 people from killing themselves, national police said last month.
But experts have said the crackdown will only drive suicidal people to use overseas providers, which are almost impossible to regulate. Others argue that the sites, by allowing suicidal people to share their concerns, prevent more deaths than they facilitate.
Internet-related suicides represent a small percentage of suicides in Japan. More than 32,000 Japanese took their own lives in 2004, the bulk of them older Japanese suffering financial woes.
Japan's recent economic pickup should bring that figure down, Usui said. But preventing Internet-related suicides by young people is a different matter, he said.
"Unfortunately, the more younger people there are using the Web, the more suicides we're going to see," Usui said. "The Internet has brought a lot of convenience to Japan, but it has brought with it a lot of ills."
3/11/2006 8:50 am
WOW...Now that is depressing|