Japan Appoints Minister Of Loneliness To Curb Depression

The Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga has appointed a minister of loneliness to help curb depression associated with the pandemic.

Japan Appoints Minister Of Loneliness To Curb Depression

A report by the CGTN the Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga appointed Tetsushi Sakamoto who is already a minister in charge of dealing with Japan`s declining birthrate and promoting regional revitalization minister to address loneliness and isolation as suicide rates rise in the country increase for the first time in 11 years. 

Prime Minister Suga chose Sakamoto as his minister for economic revitalization when he was elected in September 2020. A few days before appointing him as minister of loneliness Japan had recorded a surge in suicides mainly affecting women and the youths which resulted in an increase by 14.5 percent in 2020 to 6,976 deaths.

Suga stated that women are suffering from isolation more than men and the number of suicides is on a rising trend and he hopes that they will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively. He is also looking into a multi-sector approach by engaging experts to lower stress and depression levels in Japan.

Women in Japan have contributed to the rise of suicides citing that many single women live alone in Japan and many of them don`t have stable employment  Ueda a Japanese professor who studies suicide in Japan stated that a lot of women are not married anymore and they have to support their own lives thus when something negative happens they are hit very hard.

Japan`s new loneliness minister said that he plans to hold an emergency meeting in late February to hear concerns from people affected by loneliness and isolation so as to design strategies to deal with the issue.

The UK was the first country to appoint a loneliness minister in 2018 after a report showed that more than 9 million people felt lonely.