The Japanese government has given a cabinet minister the task of addressing concerns about an increase in social isolation among the population, which has been linked to an uptick in suicides.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Friday that Tetsushi Sakamoto would oversee efforts to address the issue of loneliness and isolation. Sakamoto is already working on regional revitalization and reversing the country’s declining birthrate.
“Women are suffering from isolation more [than men are], and the number of suicides is on a rising trend. I hope you will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively,” Suga told Sakamoto, during a meeting where he outlined the minister’s new responsibilities.