Japanese Anti-Suicide Crusader Has Saved Over 500 People In The Last 11 Years


Yukio Shige, a retired police officer from Japan, has devoted the past decade of his life to preventing suicides. After foiling hundreds of suicide attempts in little over a decade, the 70-year-old has come to be known as ‘chotto matte man’. In Japanese, ‘chotto matte’ translates to ‘hold on, wait!’

It was reported that, in the last 11 years, Yukio Shigehas has managed to save over 500 lives – a significant number even in Japan, a country with one of the highest suicide rates in the world. He patrols the Tojinbo cliffs, in Fukui Prefecture – a popular tourist site that is also notorious for suicides. He goes there every single day, with three other volunteers. Together they use binoculars to spot people who might be contemplating suicide, and try to talk them out of it.

He explains that there’s only one way to deal with people on the brink. “You yourself must help them get back on their feet, work with them to solve their problems. If they’re in debt, I take them to legal aid people; if they’re out of work, I take them to the Hello Work employment agency; if they’re homeless, I take them home with me.” If it’s some kind of trouble at work, Yukio goes to the workplace himself and tries to sort things out.