The newspaper noted that Japan is familiar with loneliness, as kodokushi, or “lonely deaths,” are common. They involve people dying inside their homes and remaining undiscovered for long periods of times.
Japan rated the highest in terms of people aged 60 or older who felt they had no one to turn to in times of need, with 16 per cent of people saying so, compared with 13 per cent in the U.S.
In October, Japan saw more people die from suicide than had died from Covid-19 in all of 2020, the data shows.
There were 2,153 deaths from suicide in October alone, while Japan had seen 1,765 coronavirus-related deaths by the end of October 2020 for the whole year.
The United Kingdom was the first country to appoint a loneliness minister in 2018, after a 2017 report found that more than nine million people in the UK said they often or always felt lonely. But the role seems to not be a particularly desirable one, as the UK has gone through three loneliness ministers in three years.