In what is considered a pioneering move, Japan has now appointed a ‘Minister of Loneliness’ in an attempt to reduce the rising suicidal rates and deal with loneliness and social isolation among its residents, Tomohiro Osaki reported for the Japan Times.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga appointed Tetsushi Sakamoto. Minister Sakamoto is in charge of dealing with Japan’s declining birthrate and promoting regional revitalization, to oversee government policies to deal with loneliness isolation. Prime Minister Suga had also chosen Sakamoto as his Minister for Economic Revitalization when he was elected in September, last year.
“Women are suffering from isolation more (than men are), and the number of suicides is on a rising trend,” Prime Minister Suga told Minister Sakamoto on a February 12 news conference announcing the new role, according to the Japan Times. “I hope you will identify problems and promote policy measures comprehensively.”