Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Thursday 1 June 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Gareth Copley/PA Archive File photo (not of scene)
# Japan
11-year-old boy takes own life on train tracks in Japan
It is thought the boy’s suicide was in protest at plans to close his school.

AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy has died after throwing himself under a train in Japan, in an apparent suicide in protest at plans to close his school, police and press reports said today.

The boy, whose name was withheld, jumped onto tracks from a platform at a station in Daito, near Osaka yesterday afternoon, police said.

“We are investigating the case as a possible suicide as eyewitnesses said the boy jumped onto the tracks by himself,” a Daito police spokesman said by telephone. “There was a (suicide) note near his rucksack left on the platform.”

Media reports said the child was upset about a plan to close his elementary school and send its pupils to two other institutions, part of a rationalisation made necessary by Japan’s low birthrate.

The note left by the boy reportedly asked authorities to stop the plan to abolish and merge the schools, according to the Asahi and Mainichi newspapers quoting the boy’s relatives.

The boy reportedly sent a message to his mother’s cell phone, saying: “Thank you for everything. I love you all very, very much.”

A ceremony to mark his school’s closure had been planned for Sunday but it was cancelled after his death.

The boy’s death came after the December suicide of a teenager who took his own life following repeated physical abuse from his high school basketball coach in Osaka.

Japan has one of the developed world’s highest suicide rates. Last year marked the first time in 15 years that the number of suicides fell below 30,000.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, it may help to speak to one of these groups:

Samaritans 1850 60 90 90 or email
Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634
Console 1800 201 890
Aware 1890 303 302
Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email

- © AFP 2013.

- Additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Your Voice
Readers Comments