Japan’s Prime Minister has appointed the country’s first Minister for Loneliness after an increase in the suicide rate for the first time in 11 years.
Tetsushi Sakamoto who is also in charge of dealing with the nation’s falling birth rate has been given the additional portfolio to alleviate social isolation.
An isolation/loneliness counter-measures office has also been set up to deal with issues such as suicide and child poverty-which have risen during the pandemic.
With over 4,26,000 Covid-19 cases and 7,577 deaths, the country has witnessed a depressing trend. Women, disproportionately affected by the pandemic, have witnessed a surge in suicide rate compared to male suicides.
The loneliness minister has to come up with a comprehensive strategy to tackle the grim statistics.