A Japanese man has committed suicide live on the Internet after first talking to users in an online chat room. Some of these tried to keep him from doing it, others egged him on. Police was also alerted by users, yet arrived at his apartment too late.
According the the Mail Online, it was the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun that published a report about the suicide performed while streaming it live to viewers on the Internet.
The 24-year-old Japanese man, who has not been named, hanged himself in his apartment in the city of Sendai early on Tuesday, after having talked about his intentions to users in a chat-room since Sunday evening. Stories vary as to whether he had lost his job or was on sick-leave -- he worked at a bank -- but it is not in doubt that there were people who tried to dissuade him, while others kept saying he should go ahead and do it.
After a first and failed attempt to hang himself on the balcony of his flat, he proceeded to do so inside. Police were alerted by users as well as by the live streaming service Ustream, but once they had located the apartment, all they could do was pronounce the man dead.
Japan is no stranger to suicides and the decision to end one's life is generally less frowned upon than in most other countries. The Telegraph reports that more than 32,000 Japanese have killed themselves in 2009 alone, and that the predictions for 2010 are for the number of suicides to be above 30,000 once again and for the 13th consecutive year.
Around 30,000 suicides annually means we're talking about more than three per hour each day of the year, and it seems that rental companies and house-owners have even succeeded to turn suicides into an attractive income for their business. The Japanese Daily Yomiuri Online speaks of landlords who milk the bereaved of suicides for cash by asking exorbitant sums from family members not only to renovate the deceased's living space, but also for lost rental income.