"Suicide Club" might be real?
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's communications and Internet services industry is planning to provide police information on people who post messages suggesting they may be close to committing suicide.
Four communications industry groups have worked out guidelines for submitting the information, which could include the names and addresses of such people, Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday.
Rising numbers of Japanese are dying each year in group suicides after meeting online via suicide web sites, posing a new problem for officials trying to tackle the nation's alarmingly high suicide rate.
The guidelines mandate disclosing the information to police only as an emergency measure when suicide attempts are believed to be imminent.
According to police, 32,325 Japanese took their own lives in 2004, down from the record 34,427 who killed themselves the year before but still the seventh straight year of suicides rising above 30,000.
The number of people who committed group suicides linked to the Internet came to 70 in the first half of this year, eclipsing last year's total of 55, Kyodo said.
"[...] within the last decade the trend of group suicides has risen. There are even websites people can go to where they can meet others who are considering ending their lives. In my research I find that more often than not, they do find others and they proceed to these mass suicides."