Amidst a spate of assisted suicide crimes, a criminologist considers measures to prevent suicide
Dr. Chirico’s attempt to dissuade the suicidal…Dr. Chirico’s attempt to dissuade the suicidal
News of assisted suicide never ceases, and the suicide-related websites and mind-altering bulletin boards that are said to have triggered it.
In 2017, in Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, a man searched for suicidal people on the site and killed as many as nine people. On the other hand, some people who met on the site say that the site listened carefully to their desire to die and discouraged them from committing suicide.
A man was arrested in Sapporo on suspicion of abandoning the body of a female university student, and it was reported that a woman said that talking to this man discouraged her from committing suicide. It is unclear whether or not he wanted to help the suicidal person.
There are actually people who want to help people who are suicidal,” said Dr. Chirico. One of them is Dr. Chirico.”
says criminologist Nobuo Komiya.
The Dr. Chirico case occurred in 1998. He is an expert in pharmacology and was consulting with “suicidal people” who posted on an Internet bulletin board, calling it a “medical examination.
He was the originator of the current practice. He sent cyanide to several women under the guise of “consignment storage,” based on the theory that he could dissuade them from committing suicide by creating a situation in which they could die at any time.
However, one of them committed suicide using the cyanide sent to her. This brought the case to light, and eventually the man who sent the cyanide also committed suicide.
Komiya says that although there are various organizations, such as the Inochi no Denwa, that if there are 100 people who want to commit suicide, there are 100 different reasons, and it is difficult to dissuade all 100 of them from committing suicide.
Mentoring system used abroad as a suicide prevention method
But does that mean we should leave them to go to the tiger’s prey? A man arrested on suspicion of abandoning a dead body in Hokkaido has had his account deleted by the management because of his repeated posts inviting people to become suicidal.
“When you see a message board that says, ‘I will consult with people who want to commit suicide,’ it would be difficult to determine whether it was done with good or bad intentions,” Komiya said.
Mr. Komiya says, “So, is there anything we can do to save them? So, is there anything we can do to save them?
Overseas, there is a method for preventing delinquency and suicide among young people called the mentoring system.
A mentor is a person who is a senior whom you admire and who is also known as your mentor in life. In Europe and the U.S., they recruit or recruit prospective mentors, have them undergo training, register them, and attach them to children who are thought to have problems. The mentors teach the children how to study, play sports with them, or go to the movies with them, and as they build a relationship of trust with them, the children naturally come to them with their problems.
He says, “Satisfy their need for approval by saying, ‘Even if everyone around you hates you or becomes your enemy, I’m the only one on your side. Then, they can have hope for the future. If you think that tomorrow may be better than today, you will not commit suicide. Nor will they become delinquent.
Suicide and delinquency are two sides of the same coin. Suicide and delinquency are two sides of the same coin: killing yourself or killing others.
In the sense that you want to throw away your life, suicide and delinquency are the same. What is important is to realize that there may be something better than suicide. If the person doesn’t think, ‘Oh, that’s what happened,’ it’s meaningless.”
Some of the mentors are company employees, some are housewives. Many are university students.
Proactively accessing rather than waiting for consultation
In today’s digital society, says Komiya, it may be a good idea to have an online mentor.
For example,” he says, “you could create a consulting house in an online game and place an avatar of someone trained as a mentor or a chatbot for consulting. Just a little talk at such a place could stop a person from committing suicide, and if you can give them specific solutions, such as ‘the avatar in house 00 knows more about that problem,’ I think it would be even more effective.
The system of waiting for people to come to you for advice is also not a good idea.
In other countries, the basic stance is to go to the people who are in need. This is called outreach.
Certainly, if someone with bad intentions can gain access to a suicidal person, even an agency that coordinates mentors can reach out to suicidal people.
To create that kind of time, we need to move forward with digital transformation.” If we reduce the amount of paperwork, I think we will have more time to find suicidal people and to consult with them in-depth.
Nobuo Komiya Professor of Criminology at Rissho University. D. in Sociology. He was the first Japanese to graduate from the Graduate School of Criminology at the University of Cambridge. Formerly worked at Honda Motor’s Information Systems Division, the United Nations Far East Crime Prevention Training Institute for Asia, and the Legal Research Institute of the Ministry of Justice. He is a second-class information processing engineer (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). Inventor of the “Community Safety Map. He has served as the chairman of the National Police Agency’s Research and Study Group on Safe and Secure Community Development and as the chairman of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Delinquency Prevention and Victimization Prevention Education Committee.
His representative publications include “Crime Prevention in the World through Photographs: Ruins, Design, and Community Planning” (Shogakukan, selected book by the National School Library Association), “Crime Can Be Predicted” (Shincho Shinsho), NHK “Close-up Today,” Nippon Television “Sekaiichi uketai jugyo” (The Class I Want to Attend), etc. He has appeared on television, been interviewed by newspapers, and given numerous lectures throughout Japan.
Click here for “Nobuo Komiya’s Criminology Room” on hiswebsiteandYouTube channel.
Click here to purchase “Crime Prevention in the World through Photographs:Ruins, Design, and Community Planning” (Shogakukan)
Interview and text by： Izumi Nakagawa