The mountains of Saitama
where 7 of 9 people died
Nine Dead in 'Internet Suicide' in Japan
by Kevin Caruso
October 12, 2004
On the morning of October 12, 2004, police found four men and
three women who died by suicide in a rented van in the Saitima mountains,
50 kilometers north-west of Tokyo, Japan. They were in their teens and early 20s.
Separately, police discovered two more women who died by suicide a few
minutes later in a rented sedan in Kanagawa, 50 kilometers south-west of Tokyo.
They were aged 21 and 27.
They all died from carbon monoxide poisoning - four charcoal stoves were found in the van and two in the sedan. The windows were taped and a large tarp was placed over the vehicles.
"We believe they all died after inhaling carbon monoxide from the charcoal," a police officer said. "We believe they got acquainted though the Internet."
One of the men in the van left a will and a note that read," I'm sorry for committing suicide."
Another man in the van sent an e-mail via a mobile phone to a friend on Monday indicating that he was going to die by suicide.
"The e-mail message contained the exact location of the suicide and the friend called us yesterday to look for the seven," the police officer said.
And one of the women in the sedan left a note that read, "This is not murder. We planned this."
"Internet Suicide" pacts have been increasing in Japan, authorities say. These pacts occur after people meet on suicide websites or forums, share information about how to die by suicide, and then decide to die together. Police are taking action by obtaining information from Internet service providers about those who post plans to die by suicide, and then trying to prevent the suicides in any way possible.
Japan has a high overall suicide rate, and in 2003 a record 34, 427 people died by suicide.
Unfortunately, there are some locations on the Internet where people can receive very dangerous information about suicide, so parents need to monitor their children's Internet activities very, very closely - particularly when their children are depressed.
And everyone needs to be reminded about how dangerous the Internet can be. We all need to be careful about the sites that we visit, and we all need to be aware that some people on the Internet want to harm others instead of help them.
And if you ever hear about someone making a "suicide pact" you need to tell others immediately. Suicide can never be a secret, and talk about suicide always needs to be taken seriously.
If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.
I love you.