Despite apology, anger in Japan over video of suicide victim

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Logan Paul



TOKYO - Japanese social media reacted with a storm of outrage to a video by YouTube star Logan Paul showing a suicide victim in a forest near Mount Fuji, as anger spread over the now-deleted video on Wednesday.

Angry comments continued to flood Twitter even after Paul, who gained notoriety on social media and has a popular video blog or "vlog", apologized for the footage, which was reportedly viewed six million times.

The video shows the 23-year-old discovering a body in Aokigahara, a dense woodland at the foot of Mount Fuji known as "the Japanese Suicide Forest", in a country that has long struggled with some of the highest suicide rates in the developed world.

As news of the video and apology was reported in Japan Wednesday, social media erupted with indignation over the film, which showed a man who had hanged himself.

"It is insane to show to the world the body of someone who died after being depressed. Shame on you," said one Twitter user @j_rivoluzione.

Others objected to Paul's appearance in a novelty hat, while outtakes showing the US internet celebrity laughing and joking about the incident also stirred anger.

"It's good to raise awareness but you can do it without filming a person who committed suicide," @spiffymiffy1 said.

"It looks like he did it for self-satisfaction. Suicide and depression are serious issues. There's nothing funny about them."

Aokigahara, located 100 kilometers west of Tokyo, has become so notorious as a spot for desperate people to kill themselves that authorities have put up signs among the trees urging people with self-destructive thoughts to contact a suicide prevention group.

"Life is a precious thing... Think again about your parents, siblings and children," the signs say. - AP


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