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More than 32,000 people took their lives in Japan last year,
More than 32,000 people took their lives in Japan last year, with a rise in suicides reported in October, a month after the global financial crisis took hold, Japan's National Police Agency said in a report released Thursday.

The report said that overall the country's suicide figures demonstrated a drop of 2.5% on the previous year, however, October 2008 saw a record 3,092 deaths.

Annual suicide rates in Japan have exceeded 30,000 for the past decade. Thursday's report showed a year-on-year rise in suicide numbers in the first two months of 2009.

In January 2009, 2,655 people took their lives against 2,542 in January 2008, while suicide numbers in February 2009 stood at 2,470, up 62 on the previous February.

Suicide reports were earlier published every June, however the authorities took the decision to publish monthly reports in an effort to track the statistics and help introduce measures to prevent them from rising.

The police fear even more people could commit suicide in the next few months as the economic situation in the country worsens and unemployment rates rise.


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