With 1 year to live, cancer-suffering minister dedicates life to suicide prevention (Pt 1)

17 12 2008

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.

full article

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




2 responses

18 12 2008


Thank you for your website. I am Catholic and visiting Tokyo for the holidays so I was happy to come across this site and see that Catholicism is alive and well here.

11 11 2009
Andrew Grimes JFP, JSCCP

I would just like to suggest that as many Japanese people have very high reading skills in English that these contact details for hotlines and support services for people who are depressed and feeling suicidal:

Useful telephone numbers and links for Japanese residents of Japan who speak Japanese and are feeling depressed or suicidal:
Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):

Japan: 0120-738-556
Tokyo: 3264 4343

Tokyo Counseling Services:


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