Japanese police ask ISPs for help in reducing suicides

Many of you may recall a podcast we did a long time ago where I talked about the need for missionaries to head to Japan.  I took a lot of heat for bringing religion into the podcast, but the fact is Japan has the 2nd highest suicide rate in the world.  There are a lot of very sad people who are searching for answers.

From Ars Technica:  Japanese police ask ISPs for help in reducing suicides

Japanese police are apparently trying some desperate measures in order to stop a string of suicides by asking ISPs to remove information on how to carry them out. Almost 50 suicides have been attempted within the last month using a newly-popular method of extracting hydrogen sulphide out of bath salts and detergent, the instructions for which are easily found on the Internet.

“Generating hydrogen sulphide is not illegal under current laws, but the risk is high for third parties to inhale the gas and, in worst case scenarios, die,” the National Police Agency said in its statement, according to the AFP. The organization apparently sent the request to not only ISPs, but cable providers and other telecommunications companies as well. However, the request is only that: a request. Internal Affairs Minister Hiroya Masuda told the press that the government was not interested in blocking the questionable content, as it would mean “excessive restrictions on freedom of expression.”

It’s no secret that Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. The country had 48.4 suicides per 100,000 people in 2004, according to the World Health Organization (that number is second only to Russia’s, with a surprising 72.3 per 100,000 in 2004). It’s a problem that Japanese officials have taken seriously for some time now, but are still trying to figure out ways to fix. Unfortunately, suicide is one of those issues that cannot simply be fought by blocking information from a single source, like the Internet. People have been killing themselves for thousands of years. If there’s a will, there’s a way—Internet or no.

In fact, research recently published in the British Medical Journal even noted that, while suicide information is plentiful online, suicide rates of those between the ages of 15 and 34 in England have dropped over the last decade, right alongside the blossoming of the Internet age. If England can somehow find a way to reverse the trend, there’s hope for Japan, too. Education and outreach are much more productive methods of reducing the suicide rate than simply blocking or removing online information.

Japanese Lesson #73 – Japancast.net

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Japanese Lesson #73

Bleach Coming To Theaters In Two-Night Event

Source: AWN Headline News

VIZ Media will partner with NCM FATHOM to present the epic action anime hit BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY in more than 300 theaters across the country on June 11 and 12.

Adapted from the wildly popular animated series and a best-selling manga series (both distributed and published in North America by VIZ Media) by acclaimed Japanese artist Tite Kubo, BLEACH will make its North American debut in this two-night theatre experience. It includes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the talent behind the characters as well as interviews of this highly-anticipated premiere with the Japanese Director, Noriyuki Abe, Producer Ken Hagino and Character Designer, Masashi Kudo.

Advance purchase tickets will be available from May 2-8 to all subscribers of the SHONEN JUMP e-mail newsletter (sign-up is available at www.shonenjump.com). Details will be included in an upcoming SHONEN JUMP Newsletter and fans are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase advance tickets before they go on sale to the general public on May 9 at presenting theatre box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com.

BLEACH begins as unidentified beings known as “Blanks” start popping up. They are soon followed by a Soul Reaper named Senna who makes them disappear. Puzzled by these unknown beings and the even more mysterious girl, Ichigo and Rukia set out to learn more, but uncover an evil plot when a menacing clan tries to kidnap Senna. Banished from the Soul Society long ago, the clan’s leader has sent sending the World of the Living and the Soul Society on a collision course, and Senna seems to be the key to his diabolical plot for revenge. Can Ichigo and his fellow Soul Reapers save the two worlds from annihilation?

Liza Coppola, SVP, Corporate Relations & Partnerships, VIZ Media, said, “The premiere will offer a rare opportunity to see a brand new story inspired by the successful animated television series BLEACH, presented in a theatrical setting — the same way the film was originally offered in Japan. For those not yet familiar with BLEACH, this is also a wonderful introduction to the characters and thrilling action that have made the property such a hit in North America.”

BLEACH is a tremendously successful multimedia property internationally. The manga series has been licensed to more than a dozen countries, and has sold over 50 million copies in Japan alone. In North America the manga has been a sales hit and the popular animated series is viewed weekly by millions in the United States and Canada.

This success has further spawned an array of related video games, apparel, action figures, trading cards and other merchandise. BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY is rated T for Teens. For more information on BLEACH and BLEACH THE MOVIE: MEMORIES OF NOBODY please visit the official BLEACH website at bleach.viz.com or www.viz.com.

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