Japanese Government Appoints Minister Of Loneliness
The Logical Indian Crew

Japanese Government Appoints "Minister Of Loneliness"

Japan's new Loneliness minister Sakamoto said that he was gearing up to hold an emergency meeting of experts, policymakers, and would hear concerns from people dealing with loneliness and isolation.

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By taking the first substantial step to tackle a widespread problem of 'loneliness', gradually leading to suicidal deaths, the Japanese government has appointed a minister of loneliness. Tetsushi Sakamoto has been anointed with this responsibility.

Sakamoto is also in charge of the nation's falling birth rate and revitalising regional economies.

Giving extra space in the cabinet for 'loneliness' may sound conspicuous but Japan is not the first country to do so. The United Kingdom was the first country to appoint a loneliness minister in 2018, since then the UK has gone through three loneliness ministers. Three years ago, Australia also considered a similar position.

The COVID pandemic also brought mental health problems along with it. The norms of social distancing have isolated people more than ever, leading to a rise in suicides for the first time in 11 years. Unfortunately, by October 2020, more people had died due to suicides than COVID-19 in Japan, the Japanese National Police Agency told the Insider.

According to the Japan Times, in a press conference on February 12, the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga told Sakamoto: "Women are suffering from isolation more than men are, and the number of suicides is on a rising trend. I hope you will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively."

Notably, Japanese women's contribution to suicidal deaths is worrying. In October 2020, 879 women committed suicide, a significant increase of 70 per cent compared to the same month in 2019.

A Japanese professor who studies suicide in Japan told the BBC, "A lot of women are not married anymore meanwhile in order to support their livelihood they don't have permanent jobs. So when something happens, of course, they are hit very very hard."

Japan's new Loneliness minister Sakamoto said that he was gearing up to hold an emergency meeting of experts, policymakers, and would hear concerns from people dealing with loneliness and isolation.

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