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    Yusuke Narita Sparks Controversy with Suggestion of Mass Seppuku in Japan


    Yusuke Narita, an assistant professor of economics at Yale University, has sparked controversy by suggesting that Japan's aging population should commit mass suicide and disembowelment as a solution to the country's growing elderly population.[0] Seppuku, an ancient Japanese suicide ritual by disembowelment, was traditionally associated with samurai who had dishonoured the country.[1]

    Narita told The New York Times he was “primarily concerned with the phenomenon in Japan, where the same tycoons continue to dominate the worlds of politics, traditional industries, and media/entertainment/journalism for many years.”[2] He also said that the phrases “mass suicide” and “mass seppuku” were intended only as “abstract metaphors,” adding that he has ceased using those phrases.[2]

    Narita also defended his views in a New York Times profile this weekend after he made the remarks on a streaming news program in 2021.[3] He asserts that this will give younger generations the opportunity to become successful in business, politics, and other fields that the older generation is reluctant to let go of.[4]

    When asked to justify his opinion, Narita presented a scene from the 2019 movie Midsommar, in which a cult forced an elderly individual to leap off a cliff.[5] He has also said that euthanasia could become essential in the future, his comments forcing a backlash nonetheless.

    Yusuke Narita is currently an Assistant Professor at Yale University.[4] He is conducting research on education and labor policy topics, utilizing various techniques such as causal inference, machine learning, economic theory, and structural econometric modelling.[4] He also suggested that euthanasia could be made compulsory in Japan.

    Despite the controversy, Narita has gained celebrity status among the country's youth and even appeared in an advertisement for energy drinks. He has clarified that his comments were taken out of context and that he is not advocating for its introduction, but rather predicting that it will be more broadly discussed.[6]

    0. “Yale professor proposes mass suicide and disembowelment to deal with Japan's ageing population problem” UNILAD, 14 Feb. 2023,

    1. “Yale professor says Japan's old people should mass suicide” The Jerusalem Post, 13 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Yale scholar suggests mass suicide for Japan’s elderly. Did he mean it?” Hindustan Times, 13 Feb. 2023,

    3. “Yale professor poses ‘mass suicide' solution for Japan's aging population” FISM TV, 13 Feb. 2023,

    4. “All about Yusuke Narita: Yale University Professor proposed mass suicide in Japan to deal with rapidly ageing population” Opoyi, 14 Feb. 2023,

    5. “Yale professor tells Japanese senior citizens to ‘kill themselves’ to deal with country’s aging population” Firstpost, 13 Feb. 2023,

    6. “Yale professor backpedals after floating ‘mass suicide’ for Japan’s aging population” Yahoo! Voices, 13 Feb. 2023,

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