bulletEditor: Police found seven young people dead in a deserted van outside Tokyo in what was believed to be Japan's biggest-ever group suicide, while also finding two women dead in an apparent suicide pact in a car at a temple.  This news report proves how depression if not treated, can lead to serious mental illness.  How tragic that these young people felt such utter hopelessness - and sought strangers on the Internet to commit suicide with them.  Society should be aware there could be a growing problem of "contagion" - for information on contagion see Suicide contagion is not a new phenomenon 

Suicide rates have always been high in Japan, where there are about the same number each year as in the United States, which has more than double the population. Last year, Japan reported a record 34,427 recorded cases of suicide.



bulletWoman used Net to find others for suicide pact

bulletby Yomiuri Shimbun

A 34-year-old woman who was found dead Tuesday after an apparent group suicide in Minanomachi, Saitama Prefecture, made two attempts to search for people on the Internet to kill themselves with her, police said Wednesday.

The woman of Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, was one of seven young people who committed suicide in a van that was discovered near Minoyama Koen park in the town, Chichibu Police Station said, adding that she had visited a suicide-related Web site on the Internet on Sept. 22.

According to the police, the woman had attempted suicide with three other women on the night of Oct. 4, burning charcoal in a tent in Okutamamachi, Tokyo.

Before the incident on Oct. 4, the woman called one of her friends and said, "After receiving so many replies to my search on the Internet for someone to join me (in committing suicide), I've decided to kill myself by a riverside."

On Oct. 6, the woman posted another message on the same Web site, again looking for someone to join her in the act. The message said: "I want to commit suicide with a group of people, male or female. I've failed once before, so I think I know how to do it now."

Some of the seven people found dead Tuesday apparently had tied their arms and other parts of their bodies with string to the doors of the van.

The police believe the seven people may have followed a procedure that would ensure that they died.

bulletProsecutors sent suicide case


YOKOHAMA--The Kanagawa prefectural police will send papers to prosecutors on two women who were found dead Tuesday in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, after an apparent joint suicide on suspicion that they assisted in each other's death, the police said Wednesday.

The action is an unusual move by police in investigating a group suicide.

According to the police, the 27-year-old woman of Yokosuka and the 21-year-old woman of Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, killed themselves by burning charcoal on a brazier in a sealed car parked beside a municipal road in Yokosuka at about 11 p.m. Monday. They died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

bulletSOURCE http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20041014wo24.htm

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