Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- A 24-year-old man committed suicide live on the internet, Japanese police said Friday.

Some online chat forum users egged on the man after he posted that he was considering suicide, local media reported. Some chatters urged him not to, while others said he was lying, local media said.

The man started live-streaming his own hanging. Viewers called police.

The suicide was reported to police in the northern Japanese city of Sendai about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, said the vice chief of the Sendai North Police.

Officers found the man at his home, after he had hanged himself. They determined his address with help from internet chat sites.

Police released no further information, citing privacy protections in cases of suicide.

An image has been floating around cyberspace, showing a person hanging from what looks like a fabric belt, looped across a horizontal pole or rod.

The streaming service Ustream said the image was not doctored and that it shows the man who killed himself.

Ustream removed the image after users flagged it, said spokesman Fumihiro Ito.

The company planned to beef up monitoring of user content following the suicide, Ito said.The poor Japanese man who committed suicide live on the internet is one among tens of thousands of people in that country who have killed themselves this year. In 2009, 32,845 Japanese people killed themselves. The figure has stayed above the 30,000 threshold for 12 straight years and there’s no sign of a change. It works out at 88 suicides every single day. It’s a lot: Japan has one of the highest rates in the world and it’s much higher than here in Britain, for example.

My own feeling is that this epidemic of self-destruction is related to questions of status, shame and self-esteem and to Japan’s competitive culture. In an uncertain economic climate a lot of Japanese males – and more than 70 per cent of the deaths are in males – are longer confident of being able to stay in a decent job and support their families for their working lives. To make matters worse, they may be ensnared by sarakin-jigoku or “loan shark hell”, which is what happens when a person gets tied up in ever-increasing debts to a moneylender or sarakin.

This is a lethal combination: personal humiliation plus the comparative acceptability of suicide in Japanese culture. Shame is a major driver of suicide. South Korea also has a very high rate of suicide and that country has a comparable social structure where shame motivates citizens.

Society at large is sick and has an un healthy appetite for death and dispair....(THA CHILL ONE)


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