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Suicide By Tide In The Most High-Stress Society In The World

from ABC News

‘Detergent Suicide’: Deadly Fad Rattles Japan


Dangerous ‘Gas Suicide’ Trend Puts Bystanders at Risk


The volunteer staff at the Suicide Prevention Center in Tokyo spent this year’s “golden week” holidays in early May taking calls from those who wanted to kill themselves.


 Japanese health officials note a disturbing increase in “gas suicides.”

(Getty Images)

“We set up a special hot line during golden week this year,” said Yuzou Kato, the director of the center, referring to the popular annual bash of four national holidays packed into a single week. “We wanted to put a stop to the increasing number of gas suicides, which have been spreading all over Japan.”

The Japanese epidemic of suicides has become particularly lethal in the last year with the introduction of a new method: mixing store-bought detergents and chemicals to create toxic hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas almost always kills and sometimes the victims of the poisonous fumes are passers-by or rescue personnel.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 145 such suicide cases have been reported in the last few months, killing 136 and injuring 188 others. Kato said many callers had started to talk about this gas method in the last year.

Japan already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. The number of suicides reached 30,000 in 1998 and has not gone below that number for nine consecutive years.

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Posted on May 21, 2008 by Editor

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