Foreign News: Public Welfare

"Wait! Think it over. Don't commit suicide—things may not be as impossible as you think."

So say signs erected at Mihara volcano, Nishikigaura inlet and Kegon waterfall near Tokyo, favorite spots for Japanese suicides. Despite this earnest entreaty, some 500 Japanese, taught by Japanese tradition that self-destruction offers an honorable solution to all kinds of trouble, leaped into the lava, the ocean and the abyss beneath the waterfall in 1950.

The number of suicides in Japan rose from 10,105 in 1944 to 18,368 last year. Time-honored hara-kiri is giving way to less spectacular methods—hanging, poisoning, drowning or jumping in front of trains. Main...

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