Japan’s government yesterday urged people to seek help if they were struggling to cope, following Sunday’s death of the popular actress and Miss Sherlock star Yuko Takeuchi, 40.
News of her death shocked the nation and follows other recent cases of Japanese celebrities taking their lives, with figures showing a recent rise in suicides.
Takeuchi was a household name in Japan and had given birth to her second child in January.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato did not mention a particular case, but said that some people were struggling to cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There has been an uptick in the number of suicide cases since July. We have to acknowledge the fact that so many people are ending their precious lives,” said Kato, who was minister of health, labor and welfare until earlier this month, as he urged the public to use suicide-prevention hotlines and other services.
Earlier in this month, actress Sei Ashina died in an apparent suicide, actor Haruma Miura is also thought to have taken his own life in July and reality TV star Hana Kimura, 22, from the Netflix show Terrace House, died in May.
Japan last month saw nearly 1,900 suicides, up 15.3 percent from a year earlier.
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