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Premature deaths cost Japan dearly

Agencies  

Tokyo: Suicides and depression cost the Japanese economy almost USD 32 billion last year on top of their human toll, the government said today, the first time it released such an estimate.

Welfare payments and medical costs for the depressed, the lost incomes of those in care and those who killed themselves, and other factors came to 2.68 trillion yen (USD 31.8 billion) last year, the government said.

The figure included an estimate of 1.9 trillion yen worth of income that could have been earned by the 26,500 people aged 15 to 69 who killed themselves in 2009, had they chosen to live and work one more year.

Japan, a country of about 127 million people, has one of the world's highest suicide rates, with 32,845 people killing themselves last year, the 12th year in a row when the number was over 30,000.

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