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It has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, but Japan has worked hard in recent years to change that. Here's what it's doing today for World Suicide Prevention Day

Passengers wait for a train in front of the half-height platform screen doors at a subway station in Tokyo on Sept. 10, 2015. The doors help prevent suicide attempts and accidental falls.

Passengers wait for a train in front of the half-height platform screen doors at a subway station in Tokyo on Sept. 10, 2015. The doors help prevent suicide attempts and accidental falls.

EUGENE HOSHIKO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Japan, a nation with one of the world's highest suicide rates, launched a national suicide-prevention campaign on Thursday, one of several global efforts to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

For the Sept. 10-16 campaign, local governments and legal associations have set up hotlines, support groups will hold seminars, and awareness posters have been put up at train stations, schools and other public facilities.

Japan's suicide rate is still high compared with Canada's and other G8 countries, and suicide is the top cause of death for Japanese people between 15 and 34 years old, followed by accidents and cancer.

Suicide, a subject once considered taboo in Japan, got renewed public attention when economic troubles in the late 1990s and 2000s sent rates soaring. The Basic Act for Suicide Prevention, adopted in 2006, set a suicide-prevention policy spanning all levels of government, and officials overhauled Japan's support services and how suicide statistics were collected.

The number of Japanese suicides has dipped in the past few years – a decrease attributed to increased prevention efforts. Here is a look at suicide in Japan based on an annual survey by the government:

25,427

People who died by suicide in 2014, a decrease from a benchmark level of 30,000 for the third year in a row.

131

The cumulative number of children who died by suicide on Sept. 1 over 42 years, the highest for any day of the year. It's the day students typically return to school after summer break.

139

Suicides linked to the March, 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

On Parliament Hill: Inuit nonprofit groups are holding a demonstration at Parliament Hill's lawn today. Suicide rates are disproportionately high among Inuit youth in Canada; Nunavut's suicide rate is as much as 11 times higher than the Canadian average.

In Ottawa: The City of Ottawa is rolling out a first-of-its-kind program to offer suicide prevention training to all city employees.

In Halifax: A tattoo parlour in Bedford, N.S., is holding a tattoo fundraiser in honour of the Rehtaeh Parsons Society. Leah Parsons, mother of Rehtaeh – a Nova Scotia teen who died in 2013 after a suicide attempt prompted by months of bullying – got a semicolon tattoo on her wrist on Wednesday. (Watch the video below to learn more about how the semicolon became a symbol for mental health and suicide prevention.)

The semicolon tattoo explained

2:36

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story reversed the genders in a chart comparing Japanese suicide rates by gender. This version has been corrected.