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News / February 12, 2023

Bea Oyster for The New York Times

Mass Suicide for Old People in Japan?

By Motoko Rich and Hikari Hida New York Times

His pronouncements could hardly sound more drastic.

In interviews and public appearances, Yusuke Narita, an assistant professor of economics at Yale, has taken on the question of how to deal with the burdens of Japan’s rapidly aging society.

“I feel like the only solution is pretty clear,” he said during one online news program in late 2021. “In the end, isn’t it mass suicide and mass ‘seppuku’ of the elderly?” Seppuku is an act of ritual disembowelment that was a code among dishonored samurai in the 19th century.