Today, September 1, is allegedly the day when more Japanese teens commit suicide than on any other day of the year, according to figures compiled by Japan’s suicide prevention office over the past four decades. The reason for this? September 1 is traditionally the first day of the school year when students who are bullied return to their classes and find themselves once again in the company of their tormenters after the summer break.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Japan for people ages 15-39 and government figures show that 18,048 children under the age of 18 took their own lives between 1972 and 2013.
But Japan isn’t the only Asian nation where suicide rates are higher than the norm. For the 11th year in a row, South Korea was ranked #1 when it comes to suicide rates amongst OECD countries, according to that organization’s latest Health Data report.