Japan’s Battle with Suicide.

Aokigahara, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a forest on the north-western flank of Japan’s Mt Fuji thriving on 30 square kilometres (12 sq. mil) of hardened lava laid down by the last major eruption of Mt Fuji in 864 CE. On the western edge of Aokigahara, many caves fill up with ice during the winters. This is a popular destination for tourists and school trips. Parts of Aokigahara are very dense, and the porous lava absorbs sound, helping to provide visitors with a sense of solitude. 
The forest has a historical reputation of housing yūrei: ghost of the dead in Japanese mythology. Aokigahara is considered one of the world’s most prevalent suicide sites in recent years. Leading officials to put up signs at the entrance of the forest, urging people to go seek help and not end their lives.
In 2003, 105 bodies were found in the forest, exceeding the previous record of 78 in 2002. In 2010, the police recorded more than 200 have attempted suicide in the forest, out of which 54 succeeded. Suicide rate increase during March, the end of the fiscal year in Japan. As of 2011, the most common means of suicide in the forest were hanging or drug overdose. In recent years, local officials stopped publicizing the numbers to decrease Aokigahara’s association with suicide.
Aokigahara, popularly known as the Suicide Forest, has been a controversial yet popular topic for a while. The forest has many visitors throughout the year. Some come to admire and bask in its glory. And some, to end their suffering. But there’s a small group of people who set foot in the forest to unfold it’s secrets. But where would they draw the line? How far is too far?
Logan Alexander Paul is an American actor and vlogger. He first gained popularity by making videos on Vine, a video hosting service. Logan ventured into acting in films and television once Vine shut down. His YouTube channel has 15 M subscribers and counting. Why are we talking about Logan Paul? Logan, like many YouTubers, decided to vlog about his journey in the suicide forest. He said he wanted to create awareness. 
They intended on contacting and interacting with a ghost wandering around the forest. The thumbnail has Logan looking shocked over shocked with the victim’s body next to him (blurred out). For those of you who haven’t watched the video, it starts off with a warning, Logan talking about how this has never been done in the history of YouTube. Immediately after, you see Logan and his friends fooling around and making jokes about the forest. 
They eventually come across a dead body, and despite being shocked, Logan is laughing and making jokes. Now any person, vlogger or not, at this point would have turned their camera off and walked away. Not Logan. He instead zooms in on the victim’s hands and face. Throughout his Japan vlogs, especially this video, Logan Paul is disrespectful to the local authorities and people of Japan. Logan apologized on Twitter after receiving negative responses. But it wasn’t even an apology. And when this didn’t work out either, Logan decided to apologize in a 1-minute 45-second video, admitting his mistakes and urging his fans not to defend his actions. Which frankly speaking, would have been far better than his twitter apology.
His co-creators on YouTube were disgusted and spoke out against the video. Despite this, the video was trending #10 on YouTube and Logan had gained a lot more fans because of this. The Logang, a name his fans are known by, have added fuel to the fire defending their idol.
Reina, a Japanese-American vlogger, came under fire for a video she made about the Logan Paul controversy. The Logang commented sending her death threats, using racial slurs and resorting to insults to put their points across. Youtube would have taken some action immediately if this was any other YouTuber. This time though, YouTube decided to stay away from the drama.
Depression is more of a taboo in Japan. They have been struggling with this for a while. To make fun of someone at their lowest is disrespectful. Suicide is not the answer, seeking help is. 
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the numbers listed below:
Lifeline Foundation
Hotline: +91 33 2474 4704
Hotline: +91 33 2474 5886
Hotline: 2474 5255
Hotline: +91 22 2754 6669
Hotline: +91 40 7904646
Hotline: +91 79 2630 5544
Hotline: +91 79 2630 0222
The Samaritans Sahara
Hotline: +91-22-2307 3451
If you’re outside India, please visit IASP or Suicide.org

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