Suicide Epidemic Sweeping Korea

A somber story on the suicide “epidemic” in Korea. It’s not because of the food!

A place called the “suicide forest” on Japan’s Mt. Fuji has the dubious honor of seeing the world’s second-highest number of suicides after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Around 500 people have taken their own lives there since the 1950s.

In front of the dense forest is a sign advertising debt relief counseling, put there by a civic group because most people who kill themselves there do so to escape from heavy debts or financial problems after being laid off.

Human life is far too precious to throw away to ease temporary suffering. The German philosopher Artur Schopenhauer hailed suicide as the “absolute right” of every human being. Yet Schopenhauer was an epicure who was also keenly aware of the value of money. The pistol he kept in his bedroom was for self-protection rather than self-slaughter, and he lived to the cantankerous old age of 72.

Statistics Korea recently unveiled Korea’s suicide rate showing that a staggering 29.1 per 100,000 people here take their own lives, putting the country at the top of the OECD for the ninth year running. That is 2.3 times higher than the OECD average of 12.5 suicides per 100,000 people. Read more at [The Chosun Ilbo]


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