Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.


The cost of high suicide rates in Japan and the Republic of Korea: Reduced life expectancies

Japan and the Republic of Korea, while having some of the highest life expectancies in the world, also have the highest suicide rates. This study uses actuarial multiple decrement techniques to calculate the reduction in life expectancy due to suicide in these countries. As of 2013, suicides shortened life expectancy at birth by 1.12 per cent in Japan and 0.83 per cent in the Republic of Korea. Most critically affected by suicide are Japanese males, with a 1.50 per cent reduction in life expectancy at birth. Additionally, the Republic of Korea sees a 0.80 per cent reduction in life expectancy at age 60 – a disturbingly high percentage when considering the high mortality rates from natural causes of death at this age. These results suggest that high suicide rates in Japan and the Republic of Korea have massive implications in terms of social costs and economic productivity.


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