Japan government creates a minister of loneliness

Japan has a "minister of loneliness". Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wants to stop a rise in suicides. More people are taking their own lives in the coronavirus pandemic. Japan's police said over 20,000 people died by suicide in 2020. The minister said he wants to "improve the ties between people".

There is a 70 per cent rise in suicide among women. Mr Suga said: "Women are suffering from isolation more than men are." A 23-year-old designer said she misses not seeing people smile behind their mask. It makes her feel sad and lonely. She said: "I want to see happy faces."