The rise of solitary deaths

Loneliness is an important social issue affecting the well-being of individuals and society. The feeling has been widely researched, particularly in the context of ageing and old age. With many countries experiencing a demographic shift to an ageing population, the topic is becoming ever more salient.

In Japan, over the past few years, attention has been increasingly focused on a related issue, kodokushi (solitary death). This is the phenomenon of dying alone—usually at home—and of natural causes.

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