Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea sign MOU on suicide data


TAIPEI–Suicide prevention groups in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Sunday in Taipei to strengthen experience-sharing and cooperation in suicide prevention.

The MOU was signed among representatives from the Taiwanese Society of Suicidology (TSOS), the Korean Association for Suicide Prevention and Japan’s Center for Suicide Prevention at an international conference on suicide prevention work in East Asia.

The signing represented a commitment by the three organizations to share their experience in “research results, services and educational training” in the field of suicide prevention, TSOS Secretary-General Liao Shih-cheng told CNA in a telephone interview.

Among Asian countries, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea suffer a common issue of relatively high suicide rates, Liao said. Thanks to the signing of the MOU, he said, the three sides will be able to enjoy closer cooperation in dealing with suicide-related issues.

In Taiwan, suicide has been the No. 9 cause of death since 1997. Last year, it fell to No. 11, with a suicide rate of 16.8 per 100,000 people.

In South Korea, suicide ranked as the No. 4 cause of death in 2010, when the suicide rate was 31.2 per 100,000, TSOS Chairman Lee Ming-been said.

In the case of Japan for the same year, the rate was 24.9 per 100,000, when suicide was listed as the country’s No. 8 cause of death, Lee added.