Japan’s average life expectancy continued to fall in 2022



The average life expectancy fell for both Japanese men and women for the second consecutive year in 2022, a health ministry survey showed Friday.

The average life expectancy last declined for both sexes two years in a row in 2010 and 2011.

In 2022, the average life expectancy for men fell 0.42 years from 2021 to 81.05 years, and that for women dropped 0.49 years to 87.09 years. The drops were “largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” a ministry official said.

According to the ministry, the reported number of people who died after getting infected with the coronavirus rose to 47,635 in 2022 from 16,766 in 2021.

The pandemic is seen to have shortened the average life expectancy in 2022 by 0.12 years for men and 0.13 years for women, larger than 0.10 years and 0.07 years, respectively, in 2021.


In 2022, Japanese women had the highest average life expectancy in the world.

Japanese men ranked fourth, down by one place from the preceding year. Switzerland ranked first, followed by Sweden and Australia.

Of Japanese men born in 2022, 75.3% are expected to live until 75, 25.5% until 90 and 8.7% until 95. The proportion of Japanese women who are expected to live until 75, 90 and 95 stands at 87.9%, 49.8% and 25%, respectively.

Publication Date: 28 July 2023

Publication Site: The Japan Times

Suicides rose in Japan among young women and girls during pandemic



Researchers in Japan have found a significant increase in the number of suicides among women and girls between the ages of 10 and 24 during the pandemic, while there was no significant change in the suicide rate for boys and men in the same age group.

The research team analyzed data on suicides by gender across three age groups — 10 to 14, 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 — comparing the number of suicides after July 2020 with the number of suicides before the pandemic began.

According to the health ministry, the number of suicides among women and girls age between 10 and 24 in 2022 was 745, an increase of 233 compared with the 2019 figure. The data also showed that the number of boys and men in that age range who committed suicide was 1,278, an increase of 100 cases from 2019.

The research was led by Nobuyuki Horita from Yokohama City University Hospital and Sho Moriguchi from the Department of Neuroscience at Keio University using data on deaths by suicide from July 2012 to June 2022 provided by the health ministry.


Over the past 10 years, a total of 13,263 young people age 10 to 24 — 9,428 male and 3,835 female — died by suicide.


Publication Date: 26 June 2023

Publication Site: Japan Times

Japan’s older population hits record high

Link: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/09/20/national/japans-older-population-hits-record-high/


The estimated number of people aged 65 or older in Japan stood at a record high of 36.4 million as of Wednesday, an increase of 220,000 from a year before, the internal affairs ministry said Sunday.

The share of those aged adults in the nation’s total population rose to a record 29.1%, the highest among 201 countries and regions across the world.

Older men totaled 15.83 million, or 26% of the total male population. There were 20.57 million elderly women, or 32% of the female population.

The ministry released the data ahead of Respect for the Aged Day on Monday, a national holiday.

In Japan, the share of aged people has been rising since 1950. The figure is expected to rise to as high as 35.3% in 2040 when the so-called second baby-boomer generation, or people born in the early 1970s, reaches the age of 65 or older, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

Publication Date: 20 Sept 2021

Publication Site: The Japan Times

Suicides in Japan dropped for a decade. Then the pandemic hit.

Link: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/02/07/national/social-issues/suicides-rise-japan-pandemic/



In Japan, a nation that has long struggled with one of the highest suicide rates in the world, the emotional strain is manifesting itself in a disturbing trend. For the first time in a little over a decade, the number of those who took their own lives last year exceeded the previous year, reversing years of work to curb a stubbornly high number of self-inflicted deaths.

According to the health ministry’s preliminary data, 20,919 people died by suicide in 2020, up 3.7% from 2019, compared with 3,459 coronavirus-related deaths in the same period.

While men in Japan are typically more likely to die by suicide, last year saw the number of women killing themselves grow by 885 to 6,976, while suicides among men fell slightly. Meanwhile, figures for those in their 20s and those age 19 or younger grew by 17% and 14%, respectively, according to a tally by the Nikkei business daily, providing insight into which groups are the most vulnerable.

Author(s): ALEX K.T. MARTIN

Publication Date: 7 February 2021

Publication Site: Japan Times