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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 July 26 - August 1  > Number of suicides committed by SDF personnel increased by 1.4 times over last year
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2023 July 26 - August 1 [SDF]

Number of suicides committed by SDF personnel increased by 1.4 times over last year

July 29, 2023

The number of Self-Defense Forces personnel who committed suicide in fiscal 2022 totaled 79, 1.4 times more than the previous fiscal year, according to the 2023 White Paper on National Defense released on July 28.

The white paper shows that the Ground SDF had the largest number of suicides (43) followed by the Maritime SDF (13) and the Air SDF (12).

The largest ever (101) was in FY2005 and FY2006 after Japan dispatched SDF troops to Iraq and the Indian Ocean.

The defense report does not touch on possible causes of the rise in the number of suicides. Seemingly, a manpower shortage, a lot of stress associated with harder duties, and the spread of harassment within the SDF may exist in the background of the increase in suicides by SDF personnel.

Calls to harassment hotlines of the Defense Ministry have been on the rise. The number of calls totaled 2,122 in FY2022, up more than three times compared with the 2018 level. The number of punishments for workplace harassment reached 173 in FY2021, more than double the number in FY2019.

Past related articles:
> Cover-up of PTSD among SDF peacekeepers unacceptable [June 18, 2017]
> 54 SDF members commit suicide after returning from abroad [May 28, 2015]

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