Suicide prevention strategies in Japan: A 15-year review (1998-2013)

Tadashi Takeshima, Takashi Yamauchi, Masatoshi Inagaki, Manami Kodaka, Toshihiko Matsumoto, Kenji Kawano, Yotaro Katsumata, Maiko Fujimori, Ayaka Hisanaga, Yoshitomo Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Suicide is a global public health problem and solutions to it can be found only through a global dialog. The suicide rate in Japan has been alarming, but Japan has made substantial efforts to reduce this rate, making prevention a high priority. This report reviews the developmental stages of a comprehensive policy of suicide prevention in Japan from 1998 to 2013. Our review suggests that suicide prevention activities were facilitated by the 2006 BasicAct for Suicide Prevention and the 2007 General Principles of Suicide Prevention Policy. Along with the establishment of a Special Fund program for local governments, the Basic Act and General Principles led to the development of a comprehensive and multi-sector approach to suicide prevention. Suicide rates in Japan, especially among middle-aged men, decreased consistently after 2009, suggesting that the initiatives were effective. Continuous monitoring is needed to evaluate Japan's suicide prevention policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Basic Act for Suicide Prevention
  • Japan
  • Suicide
  • policy development
  • suicide prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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