Hotline Reports Record Number of Suicide Calls

From Times Wire Reports

A Tokyo telephone counseling hotline said it received the largest number of suicide-related calls in its 30-year history last year.

The service, called Phone of Life, said it received 1,971 calls in the year ended March 31, the most since the service began in 1971 and a rise of 453 from the previous year.

A record 33,048 people killed themselves in Japan in 1999, the latest year for which figures are available. Debt or job loss was blamed for about 20% of the suicides.

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