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The Japanese government now a "minister of loneliness". It is the first time Japan has such a minister. Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga the role in early February. He Tetsushi Sakamoto to fill the new position. Mr Suga to do something about the rise in suicide cases. The number of people taking their own lives has during the pandemic. Japan's National Police Agency that 20,919 people died by suicide in 2020. This is 750 more than the previous year. It also the first consecutive rise in suicides in 11 years. Mr Sakamoto told reporters: "I hope to activities that prevent loneliness and social isolation and to the ties between people."

The police agency that there has been a much bigger rise in suicides among women and young people. Prime Minister Suga said women have been with loneliness since the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. He told reporters: "Women are from isolation more than men are, and the number of suicides is on a rising trend." There has a 70 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of women their own lives. Yoko Suzuki, a 23-year-old designer who in Tokyo, said she has from loneliness since coronavirus started. She said: "Not seeing people behind their mask me sad and lonely." She added: "I want to see happy faces."

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