On a December night, with only a few yellow leaves left on the Ginkgo trees in the park, a blue light on a telephone flashes as it vibrates softly. “Hello,” a gentle voice answers, “This is the Tokyo Suicide Prevention Center. How can I help you?”
The voice belongs to Akira Nishihara, 79, a minister and founder of the Tokyo Suicide Prevention Center. Nishihara started telephone counseling some 30 years ago. For all that time he has listened to numerous anguished voices caught between living and dying. And now, he is confronting the end of one more life: his own.
I don’t know what has happened to the Mainichi newspaper that they have seemingly started to publish more stories of people doing good but I like it and I hope they keep it up. I like reading something good when so much news is full of sadness and tragedy.
Here is the website ( in Japanese only) for the Tokyo Suicide Prevention Center. click here If you have any problems, including feeling suicidal, and you need help in English call the Tokyo English Lifeline. click here