Japan has one of the highest suicide rates among the industrialized nations-some say it is 100 per day. The reasons are similar to other countries -unemployment, financial troubles, depression etc and there are cultural issues as well given that psychiatry and counselling is not viewed in a good light here. What might be different is one way that people commit suicide.
In Japan, many people jump in front of trains to kill themselves. This is a big problem as at least 2000 people killed themselves this way last year. I have been on trains that have stopped in the middle of a field because someone jumped at the next station-it is a very strange feeling knowing that someone just killed themselves. What makes it even sadder (if that is possible) is that the family of the person who jumped, must pay for the clean up and for the time it takes to do it.
This has become such a big problem in Japan that some stations are now installing blue LED lights at some train stations. While there isn't any scientific proof that blue lights will prevent suicides, they believe that blue lights have a calming effect and might make someone pause and reflect and that is reason enough to install them. The picture below shows the newly installed blue LED lights.