Medicine: Confucius & Suicide

Japan's suicide rate has always been notoriously high (24.2 per 100,000 a year, v. 10.2 in the U.S., by latest figures), but last week a leading Tokyo psychiatrist drew attention to a still more chilling statistic: in the 15-to-24 age group, suicide is the leading cause of death. The rate for these teen-agers and young adults, said Dr. Tsunehisa Takeyama, is 54.8 per 100,000. Accidents are the next commonest cause of death, with a rate of 42.8, and tuberculosis third, at 21.3. No less than 34% of all Japan's 22,000 suicides a year are in this transitional age bracket; suicide drops...

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