Japan appoints first 'Minister of Loneliness'

Japan appoints first 'Minister of Loneliness'

Tetsushi Sakamoto will be the first-ever official to hold this title.


The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives forever and everyone in the world has had to adapt to the "new normal" we keep hearing about.

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One of the biggest changes to enter people's lives had to be lockdown.

Although the concept of quarantine is nothing new, a government lockdown, forcing people to stay inside their homes while only going outside for the essentials, was a foreign concept that we all had to get used to.

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One of the toughest parts of this worldwide shutdown had to be self-isolation.

Sure, to most introverts and shy people this sounds like a dream.

But within a few weeks of complete isolation, even the most introverted and socially awkward people were having none of it.

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Loneliness can be a terrible feeling and some people were not lucky enough to be in lockdown with a roommate, family, or even at least a random stranger.

As a result, suicide rates across the world have skyrocketed.

And many countries have tried to take steps in the right direction to try and provide assistance for people who might be struggling.

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The most creative and original plan we've heard of comes from Japan!

The country's Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, has appointed Tetsushi Sakamoto as the first-ever Minister of Loneliness.

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What does this role entail?

The Minister of Loneliness will be working on trying to reduce loneliness and its effects across the country.

According to Insider, Sakamoto is already the minister in charge of dealing with the country's declining birthrate and the promotion of regional revitalisation.

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This is one of their many attempts at combating the rising suicide rates.

Even before the pandemic, Japan had issues with "hikikomori", or people living in complete self-isolation, and they have always been actively busy finding solutions for these problems.

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Some of the solutions include a robot, designed by engineers, to hold a person's hand when they are feeling on the lonely side.

Individuals are also paying a man to do nothing but keep them company, but it seems like a very interesting job considering the stories he's been told...

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Although the official name of this position might seem a little strange, hopefully, Japan will be successful in its latest suicide prevention attempt.

And who knows, maybe other countries will be following in their footsteps very soon...

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Main image courtesy of iStock

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