Another insightful article has been written about the suicide epidemic in Japan.
Paul Wiseman in USA Today writes about how the suicide epidemic has changed now that suicide websites that in fact - aid, abet and counsel suicide, are available.
"The 517 self-inflicted deaths by hydrogen sulfide poisoning this year are part of a bigger, grimmer story: Nearly 34000 Japanese killed themselves last year."
Wiseman explains that one of the reasons that authorities are alarmed that suicide has reached epidemic levels (among others) is:
"The internet has allowed young, depressed Japanese to get suicide tips and find others with whom they can enter into death pacts."
Wiseman also quotes Koji Tsukino, a anti-suicide activist who is a recovered alcoholic and drug user who attempted suicide 10 times before his 30th birthday.
"the latest suicide craze is even scarier than those in the past."
He then says:
"Hydrogen sulfide is dangerous even to those who don't wnat to kill themselves. The toxic gas can carry into neighboring buildings and apartments. In April 80 people were injured and another 120 had to be evacuated after a 14-year-old girl killed herself with hydrogen sulphide in southern Japan's Kochi prefecture. She'd left a note on the door of her family's apartment that said, "Gas being emitted. Don't open," according to the kyodu news service."
Wiseman finishes his article by stating:
"Police have asked internet providers to ban websites the promote suicide - but with only only mixed success."
There needs to be a world-wide ban by all nations on suicide promoting websites. Aiding, abeting and couseling suicide via the internet directly threatens the lives of people who are depressed, mentally incompetent or experiencing a sense of hopelessness.
We need to protect depressed people in the same way as we are protecting children from being victims of child porn websites.
To link to the original article: http://www.usatoday.com:80/news/world/2008-07-20-japan-suicides_N.htm
To link other blog postings on the issue: