In a joint suicide which has shocked Japan, two schoolgirls aged just 11 and 12, left their shoes lined up neatly side-by-side before both jumping to their deaths from an apartment building in Tokyo.
According to the Daily Mail the girls, who were close friends, jumped from the seventh floor of a building in Tokyo’s Ota Ward leaving a whole nation asking: Why did they do it?
Police in Japan confirmed that a suicide note was left along with the girl’s shoes but they refused to reveal the its contents to reporters, ‘The note is a matter for the parents – it is personal,’ said a police spokesman.
Officials from the school where the girls attended told the Japanese Times newspaper that the girls went to school on Friday as usual and apparently got on well with their classmates and it was “business as usual.”
A school official spoke to reporters.
“There had been no incidents of bullying or anything like that,’ said a school official. They were in the same class and appeared to get on well with everyone. They did not show any signs of being worried about anything.”
Social media in Japan is currently abuzz with comments from people who are shocked by the incident. Naturally, many are asking why two girls in the prime of their lives would take the decision to commit suicide in this way.
One commentor posted, “How do you possibly comment on this? Just lost for words,” while another asked, “What can be so wrong in a 11-12 year old’s life to end it like this?’ What was wrong with the lives of two young girls to make them want to kill themselves.”
Japan as a nation is no stranger to suicide. The World Health Organization says the country has the fourth highest suicide rate among high-income countries.
In 2012, a report by the organization showed that Japan had 29,442 suicides that year. It was only just behind South Korea, Lithuania and Russia.