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Japan Appoints Minister Of Loneliness To Combat COVID-19 Related Suicides

Published: February 15, 2021 | Print This
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Due to implementation of social isolation, people across the globe are experiencing loneliness and are feeling isolated. Japan has also experienced an increase in suicide cases owing to the same reason. To overcome this situation, the Govt. of Japan has appointed a Cabinet Minister as ‘MINISTER OF LONELINESS’ to address this concern.

Tetsushi Sakamoto, who is currently working on issues responsible for declining birthrate in Japan, is appointed as ‘MINISTER OF LONELINESS’ by Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

According to Yoshihide Suga, as compared to men, women are suffering more due to the isolation and he is hopeful that Tetsushi Sakamoto will be able to identify the issues and lay down effective measures to improve the societal condition.

Sakamoto is also well aware about the objective and the adverse effects of social isolation caused by pandemic. He will work to improve the social ties.

Sakamoto will focus on major issues such as suicide prevention, child poverty and elderly care.

In order to work comprehensively on these issues he will coordinate with various agencies. He has also scheduled a discussion meeting with experts to formulate the most effective strategy to help people who are suffering from loneliness and isolation.

The suicide rate was declining till the beginning of 2020. However, it again started increasing during 2020. Approximately 20,919 people committed suicide last year in Japan. This resulted in rise in suicide cases by 3.7 percent as compared to year 2019.

The practice of appointing a minister to deal with social issues like isolation and loneliness was also followed by the British Government in 2018.

The British Government extended the responsibilities of the Minister for Sport and Civil Society to tackle issues like loneliness among a large number of Britons. They modified the designation as Minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness.

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