Thursday, September 6, 2012

"Filming curtailed in 'suicide forest'"

From The Daily Yomiuri Online, 9/6/12:

The Yamanashi prefectural government has decided to prohibit the shooting of movies and TV dramas in the Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt. Fuji if the scenes include suicides, as they believe such depictions could encourage suicides in real life.

Yamanashi Gov. Shomei Yokouchi said he wants to erase the image of the forest as a famous site for suicide.

The decision was incorporated into the prefecture's action guideline for suicide prevention, which was drawn up Tuesday.

According to National Police Agency statistics, the prefecture's suicide rate was 36.1 per 100,000 people in 2011, the highest nationwide for the fifth year in a row. Last year, 312 people committed suicide in the prefecture.

According to Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry statistics, 212 residents of the prefecture killed themselves last year. The prefectural government said many people who committed suicide came from outside the prefecture.

A large number of them do so in the Aokigahara forest. Since most of the forest is owned by the prefecture, movie or drama producers need to obtain permission from the prefecture to film in the forest. In making its decision, the government takes into consideration what scenes will be filmed.


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